20 gmbutter½small onion, finely chopped½small fennel bulb, finely chopped, trimmings reserved1garlic clove, finely choppedJuiceand finely grated rind of 1 lemon1½ bunchesspinach, trimmed and coarsely chopped¼ cup eachcoarsely chopped dill and chives4skinless ocean trout fillets (130gm each), pin-boned445 gmsour cream pastry (see note)For brushing:eggwashTo serve:fennel salad and lemon wedgesHot lemon butter80 gmbutter, coarsely chopped1garlic clove, finely choppedFinelygrated rind and juice of 1 lemon1½ tbsp eachcoarsely chopped dill and chives
Preheat oven to 200C. Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add onion, fennel and garlic, sauté until starting to soften (2-3 minutes), add lemon juice and cook until evaporated (1 minute). Add spinach, toss until just wilted (1 minute), then transfer to a food processor. Add lemon rind and herbs, season to taste, process until finely chopped.
Season fish to taste, then spread spinach mixture over one side of fillets. Cut pastry into rectangles large enough to enclose fillets, leaving 1cm at each end. Wrap each fillet in pastry, brush edges with eggwash, then place, seam-side down, on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Press ends with a fork to seal, brush tops with eggwash. Make incisions in pastries, season to taste, bake until pastry is golden and fish is cooked medium (15-20 minutes).
Meanwhile, for hot lemon butter, thinly slice 2 tbsp fennel trimmings. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add garlic, lemon rind and fennel trimmings, season to taste, simmer until tender (3-4 minutes). Stir through herbs and juice just before serving. Spoon hot lemon butter over pastries, serve hot with a fennel salad and lemon wedges.
Note We prefer to use Carême sour cream pastry, which comes in pre-rolled 375gm sheets. If unavailable, substitute a good-quality butter puff pastry.
This recipe is from the July 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.