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This Decadent salmon en croute is wrapped in buttery flaky puff pastry and stuffed with fresh crab imperial. If you're looking to impress your guests with something epic this is the dish you’ll want to serve. As fancy as this recipe may sound it is actually very simple to put together and is great for serving family style right at the table.
Preparing the Crab Imperial
Crab imperial can be prepared ahead of time or even the night before. Letting the mixture chill in the refrigerator allows the imperial to set up and the flavors to meld together. Depending on the type of crab meat you use you may have more imperial sauce then you need. Gently add the sauce to the crabmeat and breadcrumbs folding just until the crab meat is coated.
What Type of Crab Meat Should I Buy to Make Crab Imperial
This is a tough question to answer because I use a blend of crab meats in crab imperial as well as Crab Cakes. Jumbo Lump is obviously your highest quality crab meat but It lacks the sweetness of the claw meat. I prefer to combine the claw with the jumbo lump for flavor as well as texture.
I know that that's not always an option and that's where using special or backfin crab meat is a good option for you. Special is crab meat from the body of the crab whereas backin contains special as well as broken pieces of lump crab meat. Backfin and Special is also much cheaper than jumbo lump crab meat so at the end of the day you have many options on what type of crab meat you can use.
What Type of Salmon to Use
Salmon is the most popular species of fish in the United States with annual sales well over 600 million as of 2017. When purchasing salmon there are lots of fish in the sea...but seriously there are numerous species of salmon like King, Sockeye and Coho. These varieties are mostly wild caught and fetch a hefty price tag. Atlantic Salmon is much more economical but the majority of atlantic salmon is farm raised. Above all I think it's important to buy your salmon from a market or grocery store that you trust the quality. The Salmon shouldnt have any strong odor or sliminess on the skin. For this recipe, buy a salmon filet with the skin removed. You can ask the fishmonger at your local market to remove the skin for you so you don't have to mess with it.
At the end of the day buy the salmon that you can afford. I personally would spend a few extra dollars on better quality crab meat then the fish because I think you'll notice a bigger difference in flavor. Wild caught is almost always best but there's nothing wrong with good quality farm raised Atlantic Salmon.
Preparing the Puff Pastry
Puff pastry can be found in the frozen section of most grocery stores. It is sold in sheets that are folded into thirds. Make sure to let the puff pastry fully thaw before unfolding or it may crack or break. Once the pastry is thawed you can roll it out to almost double in size. Make sure to flour the board as well as the rolling pin before rolling.
Remoulade is classic French mayonnaise based sauce containing pickles, capers, shallot, herbs and dijon. There are many variations of this sauce but it's outstanding on anything seafood. American versions tend to contain ketchup or tomato paste giving it a pinkish color. Tartar Sauce is basically a simplified version of remoulade and can be substituted interchangeably.
- 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbsp Ketchup
- 1 tbsp Shallot Fine Diced
- 1 tbsp Dill Relish
- 1 tbsp Capers
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley Chopped
- Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse just enough to combine but still leave some small chunks for texture. Store in the fridge for up to 30 days
Crab Imperial Recipe:
- 1 lb Crabmeat
- 1/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/2 tsp Old Bay
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley Chopped
- Pick through the crab meat and remove any shell or pieces cartilage, Set aside
- Whisk together Mayo, Dijon, Egg, Old Bay, Lemon Juice, Worcestershire and parsley
- Gently fold in the crab meat and panko into the imperial sauce until the crab meat is coated.
- Chill mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.
Salmon En Croute w/ Crab Imperial
- 1 32oz Salmon Filet (skin removed)
- 1 Sheet Puff Pastry
- 1 Egg
- 2 Tbsp Milk
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 3 cups Crab Imperial (recipe above)
- Spread out some flour onto your cutting board then lay out the thawed puff pastry. Roll it out so that it's almost doubled in length and width and is about half as thick as its original thickness.
- Spread out the crab imperial in the middle of the puff pastry to the same size as your salmon filet. Then lay the salmon on top of the crab mixture.
- Whisk together the egg and milk until fully combined then brush the outside edges of the puff pastry on all 4 sides. Fold the 2 longer sides in and gently press to seal. Then fold over the short sides and gently seal as well.
- Flip the stuffed puff pastry over onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper then with a sharp knife score the top of the pastry in a criss cross pattern. Try not to cut though the pastry, then brush the top and sides of the pastry with remaining egg wash.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the center has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- Let the salmon rest for 8-10 minutes before slicing and serve.