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Salmon and Dill Chowder with Pastry Crust


  • 1 sheet prepared frozen puff pastry dough, such as DuFour brand

  • 1 egg

  • 2 skinless salmon fillets (6 ounces each)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • About 1/3 bottle (1 1/2 cups) dry white wine

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • 3-4 slices lemon

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 sweet onion, chopped

  • 3-4 small ribs celery, chopped

  • 1 large Idaho potato, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon crab boil seasoning, such as Old Bay

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)

  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped


Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF.

Choose four bowls or shallow small casseroles to serve in. Use one of them as a template to cut out four pastry pieces the size and shape of your serving dishes. Use a sharp paring knife to work around your dish. Arrange the pastry on a nonstick baking sheet or on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Beat the egg with a splash of water and brush the dough with egg wash. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until deeply golden and puffed.

Meanwhile, season the fish with a little salt and pepper. Place the salmon in a small skillet with the wine, just enough to come up to the top of the fillets. Add the bay leaf and lemon slices. Bring the fish to a gentle boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, or until opaque.

While the fish poaches, in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the EVOO. Add the onion, celery and potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and crab boil seasoning. Cover and sweat the vegetables for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn off the heat under the salmon. Remove the salmon to a dish and flake it up. Strain the broth and reserve about 1-1 1/2 cups.

Add the chicken stock, reserved fish stock and cream to the vegetables. While it comes to a boil, make a roux in small skillet. Melt the butter, then whisk in the flour. Add the stock and whisk for 1 minute. Stir in the Dijon. Add the roux to the soup and cook for about 3-4 minutes to thicken the chowder to the consistency of loose gravy.

Add in the peas, if using, flaked salmon and dill and heat through. Serve in individual dishes topped with pastry tops.