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

Chipotle Chilli Grilled Salmon Kebabs

Grilled salmon skewers with a smoky and spicy marinade.  Served with a cooling mint and coriander yogurt dip, pita bread and salad.  Perfect for hot and spicy summer nights!

Salmon kebabs2

All of my family love salmon, so these go down really well and can be cooked on a griddle pan, the barbecue, or even on a lined baking sheet in the oven. You can up the spice levels by adding more of the chipotle marinade. The coriander/cilantro used in the yogurt dip is entirely optional. I love it, but the rest of the family – not so much!

As a contact lens wearer, I always use disposable latex gloves when chopping, or using any kind of chilli in a marinade. So much pain and the chilli lasts on your skin for hours, despite washing like Lady McBeth!

salmon kebab close

Salad:
Baby salad leaves
Handful of black olives
Hothouse cucumber slices
Small handful of cherry tomatoes – halved
Feta cheese, crumbled
Lemon wedges and warm pita to serve

Chipotle marinade:
2tbs prepared chipotle paste
Juice of 1 small lime
2tsp olive oil

Kebabs:
Around 400g/14oz Salmon cut into large cubes – this is enough for 2 hungry people
1-2 Courgettes/zucchini, halved down the middle and cut into chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut into large squares
Salt and pepper to season

Yogurt dip/dressing:
6tbs Greek yogurt
Small bunch of chopped mint and coriander/cilantro
Zest and juice of a small lemon
Pinch of salt and pepper

Mix together the chipotle paste, lime juice and olive oil and add to the salmon, turning to coat.  I use gloves and gently rub the marinade over the fish with my hands. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Method:
When you are ready to cook, pre-heat the griddle pan and assemble the salad ingredients on the plates. This is also a great barbecue recipe but just remember to soak any wooden skewers first. I use flat metal skewers so the salmon and vegetables don’t move around when I’m turning them.

Thread the fish and vegetables onto your skewers and season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Place onto the hot grill pan or barbecue. They will cook very quickly – around 2-3 minutes per side.  If you are cooking in the oven.  Cook at 200°C/400°F. They will take around 12 minutes, depending on the size of the chunks of salmon, but keep an eye on them so that the salmon doesn’t overcook.

salmon kebab closeup

Serve over the salads with the yogurt, warm pita and lemon wedges and a little coriander sprinkled over the top (or not if you don’t like it!)

Roasted Salmon and Broccoli Quiche

Roasted hot-smoked salmon, fresh green broccoli with cream cheese and studded with little juicy tomberries. This is absolutely delicious, decadent and full of rich flavours. It’s perfect for a summer lunch or supper, but so good to take on a picnic and any leftovers make for extra special packed lunch.

Quiche

Crust:
300g/10.5oz plain/all-purpose flour
1tsp salt
227g/8oz butter cut into cubes and chilled
1 large egg, beaten
1-2tbs iced water

Filling:
5 extra large eggs
½ pint of double/heavy cream
453g/16oz Hot smoked roasted salmon – broken into large bite sized chunks. You can either cook your own, or buy any of the ready-cooked salmon in the chilled section of the supermarket.
One 180g/6.5oz pack of full fat cream cheese
Small bunch of chives, chopped
1 bunch of broccoli, separated into small bite-sized florets
1 pack of tomberries (125g/4 ½oz). If you can’t get these, you can top the quiche with slices of regular sized tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
Pinch of salt
½ tsp black pepper

Method:
Add the flour, salt and butter to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the butter is the size of small peas and add the egg and pulse once or twice. Add the iced water a little a time until the dough just comes together. You might not need all of the water.

Form the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Leave to chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry and, without stretching, line the base and sides of a 10inch/25cm tin. Return to the fridge and chill for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F

Line the pastry with parchment paper or foil, leaving plenty to come up the sides. Fill with baking beans and place in the oven to blind bake for 15-20 minutes. Take the pastry shell out of the oven, remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for further 5 minutes or until the pastry feels dry. Leave to cool a little before adding the filling.

While the crust is baking, place the broccoli into boiling, salted water for 2 minutes and then plunge into iced water to stop the cooking and set the bright green colour. Drain thoroughly and place onto kitchen paper to absorb any excess water.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the cream, chives, salt and pepper.

Arrange the salmon and broccoli over the crust, ensuring an even distribution and pour the eggs and cream in and around the filling, filling the pastry base. Using a teaspoon, drop little blobs of cream cheese in the quiche and finally scatter over the tomberries

Carefully return to the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the centre has just set. It will carry on cooking a little after you take it out, so you don’t want to overcook and end up with a dry quiche.

quiche close up

You can serve this warm, but the quiche is at its best cold or room temperature and served simply with a salad and some chilled wine.

slice