Smoked Trout Strudel
A smoked trout strudel is great for a light lunch or dinner and works well for a party buffet as it can be cut up into small snack size portions. Strudels don’t need to be confined to sweet fillings of apple or cherry. Savoury fillings such as smoked trout, potato and silverbeet are equally delicious as are cheesy vegetable combinations. I like to use Irene’s ready made traditional Greek pastry that is more like the original home-made strudel dough in taste and texture than filo pastry and not as rich as using a puff pastry. It needs to be stretched out after rolling just like strudel dough to be nice and thin and brushed with melted butter for that characteristic flakiness. This smoked trout strudel also tastes great cold the next day as a portable lunch but the pastry will no longer be crispy. Instead of smoked trout strudel you could omit the fish, substitute the smoked trout with another smoked fish or even use fresh, uncooked salmon. A rich decadent version could be made with mushrooms and scallops. You could also stick to a vegetable strudel and use sliced mushrooms, potato and caramelised onions. Chef and television personality, Sara Wiener, made an interesting radicchio and fontina cheese strudel as an Austrian riff on Italy’s much loved braised bitter lettuce. A strudel allows you to get creative, so do your own riff on a strudel.
- 500 g Irene’s Traditional Greek pastry
- 1 bunch silverbeet
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 tbs pine nuts
- 1 smoked trout fillet, flaked and bones removed
- olive oil
- 2 heaped tbs cream (45% fat) or creme fraiche
- 2 eggs
- 50 g butter, melted
- nigella seeds
Take the pastry out of the freezer at least 1 hour before baking and leave it to thaw at room temperature. Meanwhile peel and thickly slice the potatoes and boil until tender. Drain and set aside. In a frypan with a little olive oil gently toast the pine nuts until golden, drain onto kitchen paper. Wash and de-stem the silverbeet. Roughly slice the leaves and dry them in a salad spinner to remove the moisture. Slice the stems finely and saute in olive oil until softened and then add the leaves and cook until wilted, carefully rotating the leaves with tongs or a spatula. Leave to cool completely. Once cool add the potatoes, eggs, cream, pine nuts and a couple of pinches of salt and gently mix to combine.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Dust the bench and the pastry with flour and roll it out, easing it outwards from the centre towards the edge in every direction. Once the pastry is twice the original size place it on top of a tea towel on a large upturned oven tray. Place the tray onto four cans of tomatoes or a large heavy bowl (anything to elevate and stabilise the tray). Using your fingers carefully stretch the pastry downwards around all the edges. Gravity with help you do this without the need for an assistant chef. Once the pastry is a nicely stretched square or rectangle lay it on the bench keeping the tea towel in place. Brush the top with melted butter. Place the filling along the length of the edge closest to you and lifting the tea towel gently roll over the filling like a Swiss roll. Brush the top of the roll with melted butter on every turn. Place the strudel on the oven tray lined with baking paper. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with nigella seeds. Bake at 180ºC for 10 minutes and then turn down the heat to 160ºC and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.