Friday, April 25, 2014

Naughty Sarah's Salmon in Phyllo

Top shelf is books I've cooked from so far.
So yesterday was epic--EPIC, as in I chased after the police to get them to come back to handle a second issue requiring police intervention (also required an ambulance and for some reason a fire truck). Today on my day off, I treated myself to a bit of  shopping spree, going a little crazy at the thrift store and then at the grocery store. I once again failed to buy the clothes I need--but I have some new (and used) cookware, lots of fabulous ingredients, and the one guilty indulgence a whole stack of new cookbooks. Yes, I still haven't made it half way through the ones I have, no I have not even made all the recipes I want from the ones I have, but cheap cookbooks! Retro cookbooks! Healthy cooking cookbooks! Local cookbooks! I went a little crazy--but to make up for it, I came right home and looked through them and found a recipe that I actually had everything for in my house, and made it for dinner. I was going to have leftovers, but this was actually really easy and so delicious and fancy looking. Perfect for a party or a post shopping spree dinner!


3 Salmon Filets (4oz each)
1/2 lbs asparagus
4 oz brown button mushrooms
2 oz Greek yogurt cream cheese
1 tbs egg substitute
1/2 tsp capers chopped
1 tbs chopped onion
quarter of preserved lemon
1/2 tsp Greek seasoning
garlic powder
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
6 sheets of phyllo dough 
cooking spray

I'm still kind of surprised I had all of these ingredients to make this with no planning ahead--but I've had phyllo dough defrosted in my fridge waiting to be used, and I'd bought some salmon on sale and frozen it. It is entering asparagus season and I couldn't walk past it at 1.28 a pound!

Anyway, assuming your salmon and phyllo is defrosted this comes together really fast. The recipe calls for parboiling the asparagus, but I prefer mine roasted. I put mine with the sliced mushrooms under the broiler, tossed with some very finely diced preserved lemon, some extra seasonings, and let that cook for about 3 minutes--though I like it pretty crispy, and mine was super tender young asparagus.

While that cooked, I mixed the cream cheese with the egg substitute, the chopped capers, onions, seasonings, and preserved lemons. Both the capers and lemon are pretty salty--even after I rinsed the lemon off, so I did not add any extra salt. This becomes a nice paste that brings together the rest of the dish.

Next is assembly time! On a baking sheet, lay out a layer of phyllo dough and spray with the cooking spray and then lay another. Spoon a third of the cream cheese mixture over the bottom, then lay a bunch of the asparagus on top of the cheese, and some mushrooms. On top of that goes the salmon filet, flesh side down. I did generously salt and pepper it and spread a little left over cheese mix on it. Fold the phyllo dough up over the salmon and carefully roll it up towards the top, making a little bundle. I tucked in the ends, though the original recipe says to trim off the ends.

These delightful packages are sprayed with the cooking spray and go in a preheated 400degree oven for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. It really depends on how thick your fillets are how long you want to cook it.

The Verdict: I have had a lot of salmon a lot of ways, and this has moved to the top of the list as one of my favorites. I love that there is no need for an extra carb, this one package was enough for my whole meal. The creamy cheese with the bite of lemon and capers, the crispy phyllo, the crunchy asparagus, it is a spring time meal fancy enough for company, but easy enough for an everyday dinner! My one caveat is that it is a little tricky to eat--since it is all together you need to cut it up to get a bit of everything in each bite. I might in future chop the asparagus into bite sized pieces before it goes on the cheese. But go forth and try this wonderful portion controlled salmon dish--you could add your own seasonings to the cream cheese to make this your very own! EDIT: I reheated the leftovers in a hot pan and it re-crisped the phyllo and actually made it even easier to eat.

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