For the flan:
150g plain flour
100ml water (approx)
For the filling:
2 salmon fillets (to poach)
1 med onion
1 small squash or half a larger one
1 red pepper
2 tblsp oil
150ml crème fraiche ( or double cream)
2 tblsp milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil leaves
Prep to Cook: For the flan: Mixing bowl, knife, measuring jug, rolling pin, flan dish, baking parchment paper
For the filling: Foil wrap for salmon, knife, chopping board and veg knife, measuring jug
Frying pan, stirring spoon
Prep: Prep the flan:
Pre-heat the oven to 200C or Gas Mark 6
Prep pastry for the flan
Rub the margarine into the flour and add water to create a dough
Roll the dough to a circle larger than the dish
Carefully lift the pastry using the rolling pin over the flan dish and position it centrally
Press into the base of the flan dish and firm the sides of the flan
Roll across the top of the flan dish or trim the pastry edges with a sharp knife to neaten
Line with a circle of baking parchment paper and add some baking beans or pastry scraps to hold down the paper. Cook for 15 minutes and remove the paper. Return to the oven for a further 7 minutes to ‘dry’ out any wet looking parts of the pastry base
Prep the filling:
Unwrap the salmon fillets and wash them to remove any loose scales
Feel for bones and carefully pull them out
Wrap the wet fish in greased foil and pop in the oven for 12 minutes with the pastry
Remove and leave wrapped up to stand until cooler
Peel and dice the squash into cubes of about 1 cm
Peel, slice and dice the onion
Trim the stalk and remove seeds from pepper and slice and dice the flesh
Fry all these veg off in oil until you see some browning of the onion. Then add 100ml water and cook gently to tenderise them for about 10 minutes
In a large jug
Crack the eggs and add the crème fraiche and beat this up to a smooth liquid
Add a little milk to slacken it off if it seems too thick Season with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
Prep the flan:
Put the pastry flan dish onto a baking tray to that any spillage is easy to deal with
Unwrap the poached fish and carefully lift the salmon off the skin (and remove bones)
Position fish portions round the pastry so that all parts of the flan get some fish
Drain any juices from the frying pan (even dab the veg with kitchen paper to dry them) Position the vegetables around the flan
Pour over the egg and crème fraiche or cream mixture
Season the top with by pushing in fresh basil leaves so that they submerge (or they will burn)
Cook at 190 C or Gas Mark 5 for about 20 minutes until the filling is wobbly and set
Salmon, Squash and Red pepper flan is colourful and summery and can be made in advance. It gives delicate flavours that blend and balance perfectly.
Salmon is easy to poach by wrapping it in foil with a little moisture. You can substitute smoked salmon in this recipe if you want a more dominant fish flavour to come through.
You can make your pastry flan a few days before to ease the work load. Freeze empty pastry flans so that you can have a quiche or a flan when you need it fast.
Cooks Know How: You will be taking on a multi-tasking recipe if you decide to make Salmon, Squash and Red Pepper flan. You may want to do it all at once or make the flan one day and do the filling another, your choice. Whichever you choose remember the flan will stand and it does not need to be made within minutes of eating. This means you can cook and then eat later when you feel less stressed. Take each step of the recipe one- by-one as you will now feel you are really getting to grips with cooking. You will create a pastry flan, you will then poach salmon and you will finally prep and soften the veg before assembling the whole flan for cooking.
You will take 4 steps through to a lovely summery flan. You will see how organisation is really important and if you plan ahead and get out all your equipment and cope with each step you will have success. Here are some tips -
Step 1: If the pastry is awkward remember that no one will see the base so patch it up if need be. You will not be pleased if the filling oozes out so the pastry flan does need to contain the filling without leaks.
Step 2: The salmon will continue to cook when you take it out of the oven in its parcel and will cook again in the filling. Usually salmon turn opaque pink as it cooks so you will see for yourself. It does only need to be very lightly cooked.
Step 3: the vegetables need only to be softened and not turned brown. The fry off just bring out the flavours and then the water steams them to perfection.
Step 4: Assemble a lovely flan and push the basil below the filling to stop it burning (I know it looks gorgeous floating but it will burn!)
Try some new ideas for yourself. Use prawns as the fish. Use yellow peppers to make the colour different and change the squash for courgette slices. Mix up the flavours and have some fun. Flans are creative and healthy and can be served with salads, new potatoes or jackets to make good meals and that is what cooking is all about