Sturgeon in Puff Pastry brings out delicate side of this fish
It has been such a long time since I worked with Sturgeon, years in fact. I remember simply frying it with salt, pepper, and lemon and serving it with a side of fried potatoes or stir fried rice. It's a pretty solid fish with the flesh similar to shark. Undercooked it tends to be tough and overcooked, too dry. It's probably why most people try to stay away from fish as a rule. But it doesn't have to be rocket science. Just saute a few minutes per side and press down on the flesh with your finger. If it gives and bounces back, it's probably ready.
So anyway, that's the way I used to do Sturgeon (and Shark); however, this time around, I decided to fancy it up and bring out the delicate features of this fish. It can be flaky and very moist, with a flavor that doesn't overpower, thus favoring additives such as dill and tarragon as well as capers. For this recipe, I have decided to robe this fish in a sheet of flaky puff pastry, along with spinach and thinly sliced oyster mushrooms. To finish it off, a simple bechamel sauce over the top or on the side will add a wonderful touch. This dish is relatively simple to prepare, so elegant to present, and oh so pleasing to the taste buds.
1 pound of fresh Sturgeon
1 cup of frozen spinach, drained and tightly strained of all liquid
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh Tarragon, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh Dill, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of capers
1/2 cup of chopped oyster mushrooms
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
1 cup of Parmesan cheese (grated)
2 cups of Bechamel sauce (click on link)
1 egg + 2 tablespoons of water (for egg wash)
1 thawed puff pastry sheet
2 tablespoons of flour
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of wine wine
Preheat the oven to 425 (210c)
1. To begin, start by heating the olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
2. Saute the Sturgeon for approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside to cool (10 minutes).
3. In the same frying pan, heat a bit of olive oil over medium heat.
4. Saute the shallots, garlic, and mushrooms for a few minutes.
5. Add the capers, salt and pepper, and wine. Continue to cook for a couple more minutes.
6. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
7. With your hands, flake the Sturgeon once cooled. Please flake to small 1/2 inch flakes. Add to the bowl.
8. Add the Tarragon, Dill, and fresh parsley to the bowl. Stir fish and ingredients together.
9. Prepare the Bechamel sauce according to recipe in the link. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the cheese to the sauce
10. Stir well until cheese has blended into sauce.
11. Add 1/2 of the sauce to the bowl with the fish and other ingredients. Stir until all is well coated. Set aside.
12. Now prepare the puff pastry sheet. After it has thawed, spread the flour on a cutting board and rolling pin so that pastry won't stick to board or pin.
13. Roll out the pastry sheet until it is approximately 12 by 14 inches.
14. Making sure the spinach has been completely drained and strained of liquid, lay it out evenly on the sheet. Be sure to leave a 1 inch edge all the way around the sheet.
15. Now sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan cheese over the spinach and spread pieces of butter across length.
16. Using a slotted spoon ( to allow excess sauce out), spoon the fish mixture down the center of the pastry sheet.
17. Wish a brush, brush the egg wash (the egg and water) along the 1 inch edge.
18. Carefully roll up the pastry and with a fork seal each edge and the seam along the length of the roll. Turn the roll seam down. Cut slits on the top (to allow steam to escape. Brush egg wash over the pastry. See picture below.
19. Carefully transfer it to a non stick baking dish. Bake at 425 for approximately 25 minutes or until pastry is a golden color.
20. Once finished, remove from oven and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
21. Reheat the remaining Bechamel Sauce and spoon it over each slice of your entree. Sprinkle a bit more Dill for garnish. Serve a side dish of boiled baby Yukon Gold potatoes tossed in butter and parsley, salt and pepper. Enjoy :)