pacfic cod puff pastry
While working overseas, we often used puff pastry to serve with several dishes, including fish. Puff pastry is basically created by rolling out pastry dough and then adding room-temperature butter followed by a system of folding over and rolling the mixture out in order to form several thin layers of butter and dough.
The layered butter is what puffs up the dough when baked. The butter heats up, releases steam and pushes up the layers of pastry, which gives you a soft, buttery-baked pastry.
You can look for readymade puff pastry in the freezer section of your local supermarket. Pepperidge Farms is the most common brand that I can always find. You need to temper out the dough to cut it, but this is best done when still partially frozen. I cut out a fish design, but a simple circle will also work. You can fill a split pastry with virtually anything you prefer.
Here’s how it’s done (this serves four):
1 ea. package Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry
1 ea. egg, whipped
4 ea. boneless Pacific cod fillets (or any fish you desire)
1 TBSP seasoning salt
2 TBSP canola oil
4 ea. baby carrots, split lengthwise in quarters, blanched and cooled
40 pieces of thin green beans/haricot verts, blanched and cooled
1 pound cleaned spinach leaves
3 TBSP sweet butter
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup clam juice
½ tsp. saffron threads
Chives, for garnish
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Slightly defrost the pastry dough, brush with the whipped egg and cut out in the desired form you want.
- The egg will give the top of your puff pastry its shine. Bake it in a 350F oven for 15 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Let the pastry cool down a bit and then split the shape in half. Keep on the side.
- Place the clam juice, heavy cream and saffron in a saucepan and simmer on medium heat. Once the mix comes to a boil, turn it down on low. The saffron will turn your sauce a nice shade of yellow. When the sauce reduces down 70 percent to the desired thickness, pull off the fire and keep covered on the side.
- Season the cod fillets on both sides and sear them in a large sauté pan. Cod is delicate so you do not want to turn the fillets over too often or they will begin to tear apart.
- At the same time, heat up the blanched vegetables in some butter and season with salt and pepper. You’ll want to heat up the carrots and beans together and the spinach in another buttered pan by itself.
- Warm up the split Puff Pastry for a short flash in an oven and place the bottom section on the plate.
- Then place the beans and carrots on the bottom, then top with the cooked cod and top with the cooked spinach.
- Lean the top of the puff pastry on the side of the fish and then drizzle the saffron sauce around, garnish with chives and serve.