For those of you who are not familiar with the term "en croute" - it means "in a pastry crust". With our modern day frozen foods this dish becomes incredibly easy to prepare. All you need is some help from Pepperidge Farm by using their pre-made frozen puff pastry.
If you have been a follower of Cooking On A Budget, you know I am Crazy for Cod. It's a fish I love to eat and of course love to prepare. As with anything, when it becomes popular the price goes up. Therefore any time I can get some of the cod loins or the fillets on sale, I jump at the chance. I'll go into more detail about the cost of this fish preparation at the bottom of the post.
This past week we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. My husband asked where I would like to go. Since I was really craving seafood I picked the place so I could get my seafood fix. What I wanted was some great fried seafood. We invited a couple we are friends with and they liked our choice. It's a very popular shoreline restaurant that specializes in seafood. To my dismay the dinner was rather dismal and although it wasn't a total loss all around, it certainly did not meet my expectations. Perhaps it's my age, but when I go out to dinner and I don't care what kind of restaurant it is, I fully expect great things.
Since everyone's dinner was not the greatest and no one was overly excited by what they had, I don't feel so bad complaining. Any how, the craving for seafood did not subside so when I spotted cod on sale I decided I would make us a nice date night type dinner at home.
Now let's get to the list of ingredients and the simple preparation.
- 2 cod loins - about 4 inches in length
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- 1 egg - separated
- flour for dusting
- 1 lemon
- fresh dill (or use dry dill) - finely chopped
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Defrost the pastry dough according to box directions.
- Lightly flour a surface and roll the dough out a bit thinner than it is.
- Take your cod loins and cut portion sized pieces; about 4 inches in length. Rinse them if necessary and dry them with paper towel.
- Season both sides of the loin with salt and pepper. Lay the loins on a plate or platter.
- Take half of a lemon and squeeze lemon over the fish.
- Finely chop your dill and place (to taste) some fresh dill over each loin.
- Take an egg and separate it. Whisk the white up and use that to brush the pastry crust. This will help to seal the crust. Let it rest for a few minutes.
- The yolk gets whisked together with a wee bit of water so you can brush the entire outside of the pastry packet after the fish is in there.
- Place the loins strategically on the pastry dough - you want to cut the dough so that you can encase the loins in the dough and then you'll seal them up. I happened to get two out of one sheet. Using both sheets you could do enough for 4 people.
- Lay the loins down and fold the pastry crust over the loins, using the egg yolk wash to help seal together on the top and the sides. Then brush the entire crust with the egg wash. (Yes, top, bottom and sides.)
- Bake in a preheated 425° oven for about 22-25 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
If you are serving dinner guests and are doing 4 loins, be sure to platter it up pretty with some slices of lemon and some of the fresh dill.
I am pleased to tell you that this dinner (and I am including fresh green beans as we are having those with the fish) came to $10.51. That's a date night meal for $5.25 each.Try spending that little eating out somewhere! Truth is you can't. And this is homemade. It's pretty easy to make and it tastes so good. It looks on the elegant side as well. As far as a starch (rice or potato), we left it out as we felt with the pastry crust the dinner would be filling enough and indeed it was.
The cod is cooked beautifully!