Good served with a crisp tossed salad. 46
fresh , finely chopped
plus1 egg yolk, for pastry glaze
long grain rice
cooked in chicken stock
dill weed, fresh
salt and black pepper
bechamel (white) sauce
medium thick, wellseasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg and tarragon.
Thaw puff pastry in refrigerator overnight.
Flake salmon, discarding bones but reserving juices to add to white sauce.
Mince mushrooms and onions; sauté in butter and lemon juice until liquid has evaporated.
Chill (or freeze) in airtight container, if preparing in advance.
Hard-cook the 3 eggs.
Peel and slice.
Make the bechamel sauce, adding juice from salmon.
Lightly grease a large cookie sheet (12 x 18"); set aside.
On pastry cloth, roll out pastry dough to form a rectangle about 12 x 15" and about ¼ inch thick.
To assemble the dish, build layers along the center of dough as follows.
Season each well. Spoon on: half the rice; half the mushroom-onion mixture; ⅓ the white sauce; all the flaked salmon; ⅓ white sauce; fresh dill sprigs; sliced eggs; rest of mushroom-onion blend; rest of white sauce; and rest of rice.
(Note: The rice absorbs cooking juices and keeps pastry from being soggy.)
Fold dough over filling, folding and turning up ends.
Cut off any excess dough.
Seal pastry edges on top and at each end with egg yolk glaze (one egg yolk mixed with a little milk or water).
Note: I like to shape the dough into a fish shape, head and tail at either end.
Brush pastry with glaze.
Carefully lift ends of pastry cloth and roll coulibiak over onto greased cookie sheet so seam is on the bottom.
Decorate top with cutouts of leftover dough (make eyes, fins and scales if desired).
Be sure to put several slits into the pastry to allow steam to escape.
Assembled coulibiak can be refrigerated up to several hours before baking if necessary.
Bake in a preheated 400℉ (200℃). oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden and juices start to appear.
Watch crust carefully. If browning too quickly, turn heat down to 375℉ (190℃). and cook 10 minutes longer.
Allow to stand 10 minutes at room temperature.
To serve, loosen bottom of coulibiak with 2 spatulas and slide onto a heated platter or serving tray.
Slice into crosswise pieces to serve.