Salmon & Spinach Pastry – Pie di salmone e spinaci

Questo mese il Club del 27 ha preso spunto dal libro di ricette Savory Dinners Pie per preparare tante gustose torte salate.

Ognuna di queste prevede anche la preparazione della pasta.

Io ho scelto delle monoporzioni a base di salmone, spinaci e formaggio cremoso che, come uno scrigno, sigillano i sapori che si fondono insieme e rendono il tutto un piatto completo e di sicura riuscita. Come sempre in fondo alla mia ricetta trovate la versione originale in inglese.

Ed ora mettiamo il grembiule, si cucina!

Dosi per 2 porzioni

1 panetto di impasto Go-To Pie (oppure 1 confezione di pasta sfoglia già pronta rettangolare)
1 cucchiaio di burro
120 gr di spinaci tritati grossolanamente
1 spicchio d’aglio
60 gr di crema di formaggio
1/4 tazza di parmigiano grattugiato
1 o 2 cucchiaini di latte
2 tranci di salmone senza pelle da 150 gr l’uno.
olio extra vergine d’oliva
1 uovo sbattuto
sale

Preparare la pasta come indicato sotto.

Sciogliere il burro in una padella capiente a fuoco medio. Unire gli spinaci e l’aglio, salare leggermente ed insaporirli per qualche minuto. Spegnere, eliminare l’aglio e lasciare raffreddare.

In una ciotolina mischiare la crema di formaggio con il parmigiano, ammorbidire il tutto con un cucchiaino o due di latte.

Stendere e dividere in 2 rettangoli la pasta (all’incirca 25 x 30 cm l’uno) e su metà della loro superficie disporre gli spinaci, il formaggio e adagiare sopra il salmone, oliare e salare leggermente. Ripiegare la pasta sigillando bene i bordi.

Mettere il tutto in frigo per un’ora almeno.

Accendere il forno a 180° e foderare una teglia con carta da forno.

Disporre gli scrigni in teglia e praticare su ognuno un’incisione per il senso della lunghezza, spennellare le superfici con l’uovo sbattuto.

Infornare e cuocere per 25/30 minuti.

Go-To pie  Dough

10 cucchiai di burro freddo tagliato a cubetti
1½ tazza di farina 0
1½ cucchiaino di amido di mais
½ cucchiaino di sale
2 cucchiaini di aceto bianco
⅓ tazza di acqua fredda scarsa

Tenere tutti gli ingredienti in frigo per mezz’ora.

In un mixer miscelare le farine col burro, unire l’aceto, il sale e l’acqua un po’ alla volta. Lavorare velocemente accendendo e spegnendo più volte il mixer, si otterrà una massa grumosa da compattare su un ripiano leggermente infarinato. Avvolgere l’impasto, appiattito, nella pellicola alimentare e far raffreddare in frigo almeno due ore, meglio una notte intera. Volendo si può congelare per utilizzi futuri.

Se si prepara l’impasto a mano calcolare un cucchiaio in più di farina, lavorare coi polpastrelli velocemente e versare i liquidi lungo la ciotola sempre poco per volta.

SALMON & SPINACH PASTRY 1 recipe Go-To Pie Dough, divided as instructed in step 1 and refrigerated 2 tablespoons unsalted butter – 8 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped – 2 garlic cloves, minced – 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature – ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese – 1 to 2 teaspoons whole milk – 2 (6½- to 7-ounce) boneless, skinless salmon fillets – Old Bay Seasoning or other seafood seasoning – 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk (optional)

Prepare the pastry as directed, but divide the dough into two equal portions and shape each into a square almost ¾ inch thick. Wrap each square in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1½ hours.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Stir in the spinach and garlic; salt lightly. Sauté for several minutes, until the spinach is thoroughly wilted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

In a small bowl, blend the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese; pepper to taste. Mix in a teaspoon or two of milk to soften further. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Working with one piece of dough at a time (and leaving the other one in the refrigerator), roll it into a rectangle on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. It should be large enough that when you place half of the spinach, dolloped cheese, and salmon on one side of it, you’ll have plenty of dough to fold over and cover the filling, plus enough left uncovered along the edges to seal. To accommodate the 1-inch-thick salmon fillets I get, my rectangle is usually about 7 inches by 10 or 11 inches.

Draw an imaginary line down the center of your pastry, widthwise, and make a bed of about half of the spinach, in the approximate dimensions of your salmon fillet, in the center of one side. Dollop about half of the cheese mixture here and there over the spinach. Sprinkle one piece of salmon on both sides with Old Bay and salt; go easy on the salt because many seafood seasoning mixes have plenty of it. Place the fillet on top of the cheese and press lightly to flatten it.

Lightly moisten the entire edge of the pastry with a wet fingertip. Fold the uncovered half of pastry snugly over the salmon. Line up the edges of the pastry, press them together gently, and roll them into a sort of rope edge to seal. Lift the parchment and fish packet onto the baking sheet. Repeat for the other portion of pastry and the remaining fillings.

Using a serrated knife, make a 3-inch-long shallow slit, lengthwise, in the top of each pastry. Brush with egg wash, if you like, and bake on the center oven rack for 35 to 40 minutes. It’s a little tricky knowing exactly when the fish is done, because you can’t fork it to see if it’s flaky (at least not without making a mess of the pastry). However, an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish should register 145°F. Use a spatula to transfer the packets to a cooling rack and cool for about 10 minutes. Halve widthwise and serve.

GO-TO PIE DOUGH 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter plus 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening (or 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter), cut into ½-inch cubes – 1½ cups all-purpose flour -1½ teaspoons cornstarch – ½ teaspoon salt – 2 teaspoons white vinegar – Scant ⅓ cup cold water

Put the butter and shortening cubes in a single layer on a flour-dusted plate, with the shortening off to one side of the plate by itself. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl and refrigerate that mixture also. Pour the vinegar into a 1-cup glass measure. Add enough cold water to equal ⅓ cup liquid. Refrigerate.

When you’re ready to mix the pastry, transfer the flour mixture to a food processor. Pulse several times to mix. Remove the lid and scatter about 6 tablespoons of the butter—a little more than half of the total fat—over the dry mixture. Pulse the machine five times—that’s five 1-second pulses—followed by an uninterrupted 5-second run. Remove the lid and add the remaining fat. Give the machine six or seven 1-second pulses.

Remove the lid and loosen the mixture with a big fork; you’ll have a range of fat clods, most quite small but a few larger ones as well. With the lid off, drizzle about half of the liquid over the mixture. Replace the lid and give the machine three very quick, half-second pulses. Remove the lid, loosen the mixture with your fork, and add the rest of the liquid. Pulse briefly three or four times, just like before. The mixture will still look crumbly, but the crumbs will be starting to get a little clumpier.

Transfer the contents of your processor to a large bowl, one large enough to get your hands in. Start rubbing the crumbs together, as if you were making a streusel topping—what you’re doing is redistributing the butter and moisture without overworking the dough. (NOTE: If your dough mixture came out of the food processor more clumpy than crumb-like, don’t worry. Just pack it together like a snowball, knead it very gently two or three times, and proceed to step 5.) You can accomplish the same thing by “smearing” the crumbs down the sides of the bowl with your fingers. When the dough starts to gather in large clumps, pack it like a snowball and knead gently, three or four times, on a lightly floured surface.

Put the dough on a long piece of plastic wrap and flatten it into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1½ to 2 hours; overnight is fine. (You can also slip the wrapped dough into a gallon-size plastic freezer bag and freeze it for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using).

NOTE: To make the dough by hand, chill all of your ingredients as specified in step 1, but increase the flour to 1½ cups plus 1½ tablespoons. Remove the butter and shortening from the refrigerator 5 to 8 minutes before mixing; it should have a little “give” to it when squeezed between your fingers. Add about 6 tablespoons of the butter to your dry mixture; toss to coat with flour. Using your pastry blender, cut in the butter until the largest pieces of fat are pea-size. Add the remaining fat, toss to coat, and cut that in. The entire mixture should look like it has been “touched” by the fat, and nothing should be larger than pea-size. Pour half of your liquid down around the sides of the bowl, but not in any one spot. Mix well with a large fork, moving the mixture in from the sides and up from the bottom. Repeat with the remaining liquid, but add the last few teaspoons only if needed. Rub and smear the crumbs as specified in step 4 until a dough starts to form. Pack the dough and knead gently a couple of times. Flatten into a disk, then wrap and refrigerate.

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