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Ocean Trout Coulibiac with Salsa Verde and Anchovie cream sauce - Sun, 26th Oct 2008
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A Russian-inspired layered "fish pie" of sorts, this makes a great entree for a large group (and looks quite spectacular) or a filling main for a small party. Like most Russian dishes it's quite flexible to the ingredients you have on hand. Works well with different seafoods, so feel free to replace the trout with prawns or salmon etc. This version is very similar to that published in The Age by Karen Martini.

1 large ocean trout fillet, skin on
3 sheets frozen puff pastry 2 large potatoes, peeled and boiled
3-4 eggs, boiled and peeled 4 large brown onions
A packet of baby spinach (typically 200-300 gms) 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
Garlic and onion powder 1 extra (raw) egg
Olive oil 2-3 tbsp cream
Small handful of fresh basil leaves, washed and chopped. 1-2 tbsp brown sugar
Small handful of fresh basil leaves, washed and chopped. 1-2 tbsp brown sugar
For Sauces (Lemon, Dill and Anchovie, Salsa Verde)  
2 tbsp sour cream (full fat, not light) handful fresh dill
2-3 anchovie fillets Rind and juice of 1 lemon
handful fresh basil 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

Begin by boiling the peeled potatoes, and the eggs. While they're on the stove, peel and slice the onions and add them to a pan with a drizzle of olive oil and sauté gently over medium heat until beginning to caramelise. Add the sugar, and season with salt and pepper. (While purists would argue that the sugar is not needed, I think a bit of extra sweetness helps to bring out the flavour of the fish.)

Remove the onions from the pan and set aside to cool. Wash the pan and bring another dose of olive oil up to a fairly hot temperature. Add the washed baby spinach and stir vigorously until wilted (typically about 20-30 seconds). Add the cream, basil and garlic and stir well for another minute or two, then remove from the heat.

Line a large oven dish/tray with baking paper and dust with a little plain flour. Lay out two of the sheets of pastry, slightly overlapping. Press the overlapping section together to form a single large sheet. (If your fillet is a bit smaller, you may be able to get away with using only a single sheet here - adjust to suit the size of the fish).

Spread half the creamed spinach over the pastry in the shape of the fillet. Slice the potatoes (about 5mm thick) and layer them over, followed by the boiled eggs, also sliced. Spread half of the onions over this, then place the fish on top. Season well with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Layer on the rest of the onion, and finish with the rest of the spinach.

Place the other sheet of pastry over the top, and press down around the edges to seal. Trim, leaving about 2-3 cm around the edges. Roll up these edges and press down to further seal the pastry. Lightly whisk the spare raw egg with a dash of water to form a wash, then brush the pastry down all over. Prick a couple of small holes in the top, then bake in a medium oven (~160C fan forced) for about 40 minutes.

For the sauces:

Salsa Verde: Chop the basil and combine with most of the garlic in a mortar and pestle. Season well with salt and pepper, add a generous pour of olive oil (more than you'd think!) and pound well. Too easy.

Lemon/Dill/Anchovie: Combine sour cream, anchovies (finely chopped), remaining garlic, lemon rind and finely chopped dill and stir well. Add the lemon juice gradually, stopping when the desired consistency is reached (I typically only use about half). Season well with salt, pepper and add a pinch of sugar if desired.

Photography by Fiona Carnibella Photography, or as indicated.

22nd Mar 2018

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