It probably feels like I’m on a puff pastry kick, but I really couldn’t resist sharing this recipe with you that I made for my Academy Awards get-together with my friends. I know everyone’s still talking about “The Slap,” but I’m here to talk food, especially about this dainty dish that I made that night. Using frozen defrosted puff pastry to create little puffs couldn’t get any simpler, but stuffing them with a smoked trout salad that’s delicately infused with lemon juice, lemon zest, and flecks of celery, and herbs is even more wonderful. These bite-sized treats are marvelously easy to put together for any small party, wedding, or baby shower, and make the perfect nibble with a good glass of champagne.
You can buy smoked trout at several markets and flake it up in a bowl with minced celery and some citrus — then, stuff each puff with a heaping teaspoonful until it almost bellows out the top. I think the contrasting flavors of smoky fish in a buttery crust is exceptional and quite a nice treat for almost any occasion. You can bake the puffs and make the trout salad ahead and assemble them right before guests arrive. Don’t forget to ice the champagne while you’re making them.
1 sheet puff pastry
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 ounces smoked trout fillet, skin removed
1 celery stalk, minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, mint or dill, minced
pinch of salt and pepper
(makes about 15)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove puff pastry from packaging and place on lightly floured counter. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter or glass – cut out 12-15 rounds of puff pastry dough and place on parchment lined baking sheet. With a 1-inch round cookie cutter or firm tube, indent center of each round.
- Bake puff pastry rounds for 15 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from oven and using 1-inch cookie cutter, press each center until it pushes inward, leaving an invent (see photo).
- While puff pastry bakes – flake apart trout fillet into fine pieces. Add celery, lemon zest, juice, herbs, salt and pepper, stir.
- Fill each puff center with trout salad. Serve room temperature or slightly chilled. Enjoy!