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Salmon parcels

Do not try to make too tight a parcel or it may break open during baking. But be sure to seal parcels firmly.

ingredients

serves 4
4 x 175-225 g (6 - 8 oz) salmon steaks, skinned and bones removed, defrosted if frozen
40 g (1 1/2 oz) butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch of sweet paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400 g (13 oz) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
4 teaspoons lemon juice
little beaten egg, to glaze
4 lemon slices sprinkled with paprika, to garnish

method

1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

2. Put the butter in a small bowl with parsley, thyme and paprika. Season well with salt and pepper and beat with a wooden spoon until the herbs and spices are thoroughly blended with the butter.

3. Divide the pastry into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece out on a lightly floured board into a circle about 18 cm/7 inches in diameter, or large enough to enclose a salmon steak.

4. Spread each salmon steak with a quarter of prepared butter and place, buttered side up, on one-half of a pastry circle. Sprinkle the salmon steak with a little lemon juice and season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5. Moisten edges of each pastry circle with water, then fold over to cover salmon and seal firmly to make neat parcels. Make diagonal cuts on top and decorate with pastry trimming, if wished.

6. Dampen a baking sheet and place the pastry parcels on it. Brush the parcels with beaten egg to glaze.

7. Bake just above centre of the oven for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the pastry is well risen and golden brown. Serve the salmon parcels hot or cold, garnished with lemon slices dusted with paprika.

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