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Friday, April 10, 2015

Russian Holy Friday Salmon Pie (Kulebyaka) ♥

In Orhtodox culture today is Holy Friday, Easter for orthodox is this Sunday, Here is a perfect russian fish recipe for today! 

The Russians call it kulebyaka,, the more general Russian word for pie. Inside the flaky crust, wild salmon from Alaskan waters is layered with rice and cabbage, crops introduced to the 18th-century natives of Kodiak Island by fur traders from across the strait. Long after the Russians gave up the hunt for sea otter pelts and sold their claim to the territory to the United States, the frontier fish-camp dish remained a staple of the Russian dinner table.

I made a low fat version of my grandmothers "Kulebyaka" salmon pie recipe but I think that this version is much more healthier and still very tasty! Usually Kulebyaka is made from yeast based dough, but puff pastry or fresh dough also can be used. For an easy version on the crust you can buy low fat puff pastry pre made. My  grandma Katrina traditionally made the crust from scratch I remember her tiny hands kneading away in the kitchen. 

serves 8 - 10

Ingredients ♥
1 1/2 lb. skinned salmon fillet
4-5 hard boiled eggs sliced
1 beaten egg
(1 lb) puff pastry - defrosted if frozen
Flour for rolling surface
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. dry white wine

1 tsp thyme
1 cup cooked rice
1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 handful  chopped fresh dill ( if you are not a dill fan you may substitute spinach) 
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 medium chopped yellow onion
1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 lb. mushrooms (of your choice), brushed clean and thinly sliced
Flour for rolling surface

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions ♥

The oven should be pre-heated to 400F. Lightly oil a baking tray.

To poach salmon: fill medium shallow saucepan or skillet with enough water to cover about two-thirds of the salmon fillet. Bring water to a gentle boil over medium heat. Add the wine, thyme, salt, pepper and salmon, cook 10 minutes or until salmon just begins to flake. Remove salmon from poaching water and cool. Flake into bite-sized pieces.

To make a  rice and mushroom stuffing: In a deep, ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add chopped onion, garlic, the salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chopped mushrooms and sauté a little more, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the fresh dill.

Assembling the Kulebyaka

On a lightly floured surface roll out the puff pastry, to make a 30 cm (12 in) square.
Spread the rice and mushroom mixture  over the pastry, but leave a border all round of about 1 cm ( inch).
Arrange the salmon pieces on top of the rice,Then layer with remaining dill, scatter the sliced eggs over the salmon, and sprinkle with fish seasoning.
Brush pastry edges with beaten egg.
Fold the pastry twice to form a rectangle. Press the edges together to seal in the contents.
Carefully lift the pastry roll onto the oiled baking tray and glaze with beaten egg.
Pierce the pastry case in several places to allow steam to escape.
Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 40 minutes. After 30 minutes cover the roll with foil.

Leave on baking tray to cool.  Slice and Serve.

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