I decided to deviate from the ‘norm’ with this recipe. Most fish parcel recipes use wilted spinach to layer inside, but mushrooms inside the parcel instead makes a wonderful change! For another fresh spin on the recipe you can serve them with a salad containing fresh spinach, asparagus and watercress. Plus, if you like capers, then a sprinkle in the salad always goes well with the salmon.
Tips: If you serve these salmon filo parcels with a large mixed salad – and maybe some crusty bread – you’ll probably find that you won’t need any other accompanying dishes. This makes them great for taking on picnics, as you won’t have lots of little items to pack up! Just take the dressing for your salad separately so everyone can help themselves, as once a salad has been dressed it will start to go soggy within a couple of hours.
Finally, a quick note about filo pastry: it can be a little tricky to work with and may tear a bit, but if that happens just patch it up. Don’t worry about it looking a little rustic – it just adds to the homemade charm, and once cooked they will look all the more delicious!
1. The salmon needs to be a square shape rather than rectangular, so start by cutting off the thinner ends of the fillet and stack them onto of the thicker piece. Season your square piles of fish with the salt and pepper.
2. In a pan, heat the oil and fry the chopped onions and garlic gently until they’re lightly coloured. Then, add the mushrooms and keep on a gentle heat until the mushrooms soften.
3. Add the cream cheese and gently fry everything for another minute, stirring all the ingredients in together.
4. Remove from the heat and add the parmesan cheese.
5. Remove the filo pastry from the packet ready to assemble the parcels. Quick tips – always cover the pieces you’re not working with using a cloth or cling-film. Otherwise, it quickly becomes brittle and difficult to work with.
6. Divide the mushroom mixture evenly between each square of fish.
7. Lightly brush a sheet of pastry with the melted butter, then lay one more sheet on top. Place a salmon stack and mushroom mixture in the centre, and wrap the fish and mushrooms fully in these first two pieces like a parcel. This saves any escaping during cooking!
8. With the next layer, again brush it with butter and pull up the sides and scrunch together to enclose, so that it looks like a money pouch. Repeat for each piece of salmon.
9. Glaze each parcel with the remaining melted butter. Put onto a lightly greased baking sheet, and then cook at 2000C for approximately 25 minutes until they’re browned and crisp.
10. This can be then be served warm or cold with a fresh mixed salad, asparagus and a wedge of crusty bread. Personally, I think it’s perfect with a glass of white wine at a picnic – particularly lovely now that we’re getting some sunnier weather! 🙂