We have Julia Child to thank for making beef Wellington popular. The dish was aired in 1965 on a New Year’s day broadcast. I have eaten it maybe two or three times during my adult life; I enjoyed it but sometimes the meat was overcooked and when buying in a restauarnt, it isn’t cheap. It was always considered a posh dish to serve your guests. It’s a fidgety dish to make and getting the meat cooked to ones liking, can be tricky. Fish wellington, on the other hand, saves on the purse strings, isn’t as fussy, and an awesome way to serve fish wrapped in puff pastry. A cute parcel ready for your guests to open! I used haddock that was fresh off the boat from Hooked Halifax but you can use any firm, white fish. The great thing about this dish is that you can have it ready to pop into the oven while your guests are having a glass of rosé. I enjoy being able to spend time with my guests before we eat and not stuck in the kitchen, so for this reason, I give a fish wellington a big thumbs up!
4 haddock fillets
8 prosciutto slices
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup leeks (white part only) finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
frozen puff pastry, thawed in the fridge
1 egg, beaten slightly
Preheat oven to 425f.
Pat dry haddock fillets. In a frying pan over medium heat add a splash of olive oil. Add onions and leeks and cook until soft. Stir in garlic until fragrant. Add cream and stir. Remove from heat and allow to cool. To speed up process, place in fridge. The cream will help bind the leeks and onion to the consistency of a loose paste.
Lay pastry on a work surface and cut in half (if using sheets). The pastry I purchased had 2 sheets per box. Have prosciutto slices ready to work with. On another work surface, tuck fish fillet ends under to make a neat parcel. Add about a tablespoonful of the leek paste and smear over top of fish. Place fish fillet at one end of the prosciutto and roll up. Take another prosciutto slice and repeat. Move the prosciutto wrapped fish and place it at the top of the puff pastry. Use a pastry brush to coat the sides of pastry with egg wash. Roll up, pinching sides. You may not need the whole piece so cut off any excess pastry. Use a fork to crimp the edges. Repeat process with remaining fish fillets. Make 2 or 3 small slashes in the top of the pastry and place all fish parcels on a parchment-lined baking tray. Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes or leave until your guests arrive.
Brush with egg wash and pop into the oven 15 minutes or until golden. If the pastry isn’t golden brown at the end of the cooking time, turn broiler on and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Wrapping the fish in prosciutto not only adds a bit of flavor, it also helps to keep the pastry from becoming soggy on the bottom. Enjoy!