December 31, 2009

Individual Salmon-Fennel Potpie

I have been dying to make this recipe ever since I saw it on the Fine Living Network. I love Salmon and I love can this not be good? It's easy, pretty quick, and with the use of frozen puff pastry sheets as the topping, you can have a warm, comforting and elegant dish to share with your family and friends in no time. This would also be good with a firm white fish like haddock or cod.

Wine Pairing: I paired with a Pinot Noir which was a fabulous marriage.

Individual Salmon-Fennel Potpie

Adapted from Pairings with Andrea
Yield: 4 servings

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (can use veggie broth for vegetarian version)
1 1/2 cups fresh fennel chopped
1 tbsp fennel fronds, chopped, with a few fennel stalks reserved
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tsp finely chopped tarragon
1 1/2 lb. skinless salmon fillet, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick then cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring broth to a boil over heat with reserved fennel stalks and fronds and simmer until reduced by half. On a lightly floured work surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out puff pastry to 1/8 inch thickness. Using an inverted two-cup ramekin or individual casserole, trace four circles from puff pastry dough with a sharp knife, creating a one inch overhang. Place circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap and chill.
In a heavy skillet, melt butter on medium high and add chopped fennel fronds, reserved chopped fennel stalks and shallot and white wine. Cook, stirring, for two minutes, then reduce heat and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, about seven minutes. Add herbs if using and salmon pieces, stir to combine. Mix cornstarch and milk together until cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk milk mixture into simmering broth and continue whisking until liquids are incorporated and mixture thickens into a gravy. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, an additional two minutes to cook starch. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir one and a half cups of gravy into salmon-fennel mixture.

1. Butter four individual two-cup ramekins.
2. Distribute salmon mixture evenly in the ramekins, but do not over-fill. Spoon in some additional gravy and put a pat of remaining butter in each ramekin.
3. Top each with a pastry circle, curling the edges of the overhang upward and pressing gently just inside the lip of the ramekin to adhere pastry.
4. Place ramekins on a baking sheet in preheated oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.


December 17, 2009

Easy Peasy Coconut Risotto Rice Pudding

Here is a super tasty rice pudding for all you coconut lovers out there. The great thing about this dish is that it only uses 5 ingredients. It is a labor of love which requires about 40 minutes of stirring occasionally, but so well worth the decadent creaminess you end up with. You are so going to enjoy this one. By simply adding 2 tbsp of good quality cocoa powder in the first step, you can make this a chocolate rice pudding. I know you will!

Coconut Risotto Rice Pudding
Food & Wine
Serves 6-8

1 quart whole or 2% milk
1 cup arborio or risotto rice
1/2 cup sugar
on 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
Garnish with coconut flakes or shaved chocolate of your choice

In a large saucepan, combine the milk, rice and sugar with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, about 30 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is very tender and the liquid is thickened, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Spoon the rice pudding into bowls, garnish and serve.