Salmon Wellington Stuffed with Crab and Asparagus
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
Eight 4 to 5-ounce salmon filets, skin removed
16 asparagus spears, trimmed to fit the length of the salmon filets, and the ends peeled
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One pound phyllo dough, defrosted
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, milky solids removed
1 cup dry bread crumbs
½ pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
Sprigs of dill for garnish
4 whole lemons cut in half wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with chives or lemon wedges
1. In a large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the oil, over medium high heat. Season the filets with the Old Bay.
2. When the foam from the butter subsides, add the salmon and cook on one side for 3 minutes, until the side begins to turn golden. Turn the salmon and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until the salmon begins to color on that side. Remove the salmon from the pan, drain on paper towels and cool to room temperature.
3. Wipe out the pan, and melt the remaining butter. Toss the asparagus in the pan, seasoning with the salt and pepper, and cooking for 2 minutes to begin to soften the asparagus. Remove from the pan, and allow to cool.
4. Unwrap the phyllo and cover it completely with a clean kitchen dish towel. Lay one piece of phyllo on a flat surface and brush with butter. Sprinkle with some of the bread crumbs, and continue to layer until you have 4 sheets of phyllo buttered and sprinkled with crumbs. Arrange the salmon filet in the center of the phyllo and top with two tablespoons of crabmeat and two spears of asparagus. Bring up the opposite ends of the phyllo towards the center and twist the phyllo into a knot. Brush the phyllo all over with butter, and transfer the package to a foil, silicone or parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining salmon, cover and refrigerate the Wellington’s for up to 24 hours.
5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the Wellington’s from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking to bring to room temperature. Bake the Wellington’s for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown, and meat thermometer inserted into the salmon registers 165 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer. Remove the salmon from the oven, pool some of the veloute sauce on a dinner plate and transfer the salmon to the plate, using a long spatula. Serve garnished with sprigs of dill, lemon halves wrapped in cheesecloth and any remaining lump crab.
Cook’s Note: Phyllo is quite simple to work with if you keep it covered and work quickly. Don’t let it scare you, as it can be a great way to wrap many different fillings. Leftover phyllo can be refrigerated for up to 7 days—it can be used as a crust for chicken pot pie, or your favorite berry, apple or peach pie.
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Diane Phillips www.dianephillips.com and www.cucinadivina.blogspot.com
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