Asparagus and Hot Smoked Salmon Puff Pastry Bundles

These are a delicious combination of asparagus, hot smoked salmon, cream cheese and lemon zest, all wrapped in buttery puff pastry. I’ve used 4 asparagus spears per bundle here, but it really depends on how thin your asparagus is – you could get away with more, if using the very thin ones. I wouldn’t use the very thick spears for this.

Salmon and asparagus bundle

I think puff pastry – especially ready-made puff pastry is one of the most versatile ingredients you can have on hand. I love homemade puff pastry too, but it’s super time consuming and the all-butter pastry you can get is really very good. The ready rolled stuff – even better!

These asparagus bundles are really delicious to eat and are nice served warm from the oven as an appetiser with salad, cold on a buffet table and make a great portable snack to take on a picnic. Like all things made with puff pastry though, they will lose their crispness, so they are best eaten within 24 hours of making them.

Salmon asparagus parcels

Leave the puff pastry in the fridge until you have all the other ingredients ready to assemble.  It can behave badly if it gets too warm and not puff up as much as it should do.

Ingredients:
1 sheet of ready-made, ready-rolled, all-butter puff pastry
150g (approx) cream cheese – I used Philadelphia, full fat
24 (approx) trimmed asparagus spears – I used 4 per bundle
2 fillets of hot smoked salmon – I used honey roasted, ready to eat
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Salt and pepper
1 little olive oil
1 egg, beaten

Salmon and asparagus parcels

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line a baking tin with parchment or a non-stick liner

On a lightly floured surface, cut the rectangle of ready-rolled puff pastry into 6 equal squares. I used a pizza cutter to do this.

Then, on a diagonal, spoon a little cream cheese onto each square and flake the salmon on top.  You really don’t need a lot, or you won’t be able to close your parcel.

Rub a little oil onto the asparagus spears with your hands, just enough to help it cook in the oven.

Season with salt and black pepper and then sprinkle over the lemon zest.  This really helps lift the flavours.

Brush the visible edges of the pastry with beaten egg and draw up two opposite corners to form a bundle, press the edges together to seal.

Salmon & asparagus parcels

Place the pastry bundles ontp the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with beaten egg and sprinkle over a little extra salt and pepper if you like.

If it’s a very warm day and the parcels have warmed up too much, put them in the fridge to chill out and firm back up for 10-20 minutes.

Salmon & asparagus bundle1

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.  Serve warm from the oven as an appetiser with salad, or cold for a buffet or picnic

Baked Eggs with Mushrooms and Spinach

I love making baked eggs!  They feel special, but are so easy to make and are not nearly as much effort as poached eggs or an omelette.

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For a perfect Sunday brunch dish, these really hit the spot and are full of flavour and pretty substantial too.

I’ve used Gruyere cheese here as its such a good melting cheese, but cheddar or any other melting cheese would work well.  The vegetables I’ve used with my eggs are sauteed onions, mushrooms and wilted spinach, with just a little cream to give it a rich and decadant feel.

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You really need to serve this with hot buttered toast to mop up the creamy mushrooms and runny yolk and my favourite is always sourdough, which I think makes the best toast.

This recipe is so easy and can be scaled up or down.  Use a ramekin for one egg, or a large oven-proof dish to serve a crowd.

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Here, I have made enough for 2 people with 2 eggs each.

Ingredients:
4 extra-large eggs
1 large bunch of spinach leaves, washed and spun dry
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 punnet of mushrooms, sliced – wild/Portobello/button – the choice is yours
150g gruyere cheese
Small pat of butter and a little oil
4tbs double/heavy cream – 1tbs per egg
Salt and pepper
Some nice bread for toasting, I’ve used sourdough

Baked Eggs05

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and lightly butter the dishes

Melt the rest of the butter with a tiny splash of oil and sauté the sliced onion with a pinch of salt and pepper until translucent.  The little splash of oil will help ensure the butter doesn’t burn.

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Add in the mushrooms and continue cooking until everything is softened and the mushrooms are just starting to colour.  Stir in the spinach, it will wilt really quickly and then remove from the heat and set aside.

Divide the vegetable mixture between the dishes and add half the cheese.

Break two eggs per person into each dish – taking care not to break the yolks.  Season with a little salt and pepper, add 2tbs cream and top with the remaining cheese.

Baked Eggs01

Place the dishes on a baking tray and bake until the white is just set and the cheese is bubbling. You want the yolk to be runny enough to dip the toast in, so don’t overcook.  It should take around 10 minutes, but keep an eye on them.

Serve immediately with hot buttered toast.

Baked Eggs

Perfect for brunch, lunch or add a salad for supper. I’ve added some roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine here too.

Smoked Salmon Devilled Eggs

I love devilled eggs and eggs with smoked salmon are so good together, I think this might be my new favourite devilled egg recipe.

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I’ve added horseradish, cream cheese and dill to my eggs, but Dijon mustard can be used if you don’t like horseradish. If you are using horseradish though, make sure it’s the smooth kind. I bought some a while ago that had big chunks of horseradish in and it wasn’t good at all!

I’ve topped the eggs with a little scroll of smoked salmon, but you could top with capers if that’s your thing. I’m a bit hit and miss with capers, but they do work well with the eggs and salmon.

I think its worth paying a little more for your smoked salmon too. Whenever I have been tempted to buy some ‘cheap’ smoked salmon, I have always been disappointed. A lot of it is slimy, salty and fishy. Really good smoked salmon is a joy to eat.

Devilled eggs are the perfect finger food for a buffet, Easter brunch table or any party.

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Ingredients:
12 extra large eggs
75g cream cheese
1tbs mayonnaise
200g smoked salmon – finely chopped, plus a litte extra for garnish
1-2tbs prepared horseradish or Dijon mustard
1tbs lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh dill

Method:
You want the yolks in the middle of the eggs when you halve them. There are a couple of ways to do this – either lay the eggs on their sides a couple of hours before you boil them, or give them a gentle shake. This will centre the yolk, making it easier to scoop it out.

To boil the eggs, I like to place my eggs in cold water, bring them up to the boil, turn off the heat, put the lid on and leave them for 16 minutes. This is for room temperature, extra large eggs. If you use them straight from the fridge, they will take a little longer.

When the eggs are ready, place in iced water, before carefully peeling them.

Slice each egg in half lengthways and scoop the yolks out into a bowl.

Smoked salmon devilled eggs

Mash the yolks with the cream cheese, mayonnaise, horseradish, lemon and black pepper until completely smooth, before mixing with the finely chopped smoked salmon and a little chopped dill. Taste to make sure it’s just right. I haven’t included any salt as I think there is enough, but adjust to personal taste.

Place the filling in a piping bag, fitted with a star tip and pipe the filling into the waiting egg halves.

Garnish with a little snipped dill and top with a scroll of smoked salmon.

Smoked Salmon devilled egg

These are a delicious alternative to chocolate eggs for Easter!