About this recipe:A delicious prawn and crab filling is placed between fish fillets and covered with puff pastry. It's worth taking the time to shape the pastry into a fish shape as it looks great when you present it to your family or guests!
Merwin L. Chambers
1 onion, finely chopped
120g minced celery
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 (170g) tin white crab meat
225g prawns, peeled, deveined and minced
4 tablespoons vermouth or white wine
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon tabasco sauce
500g frozen puff pastry, thawed
900g halibut or bream fillets
2 egg yolks, beaten
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To make the stuffing: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Gently cook onion, celery and parsley until all of the vegetables are just tender. Mix in crab meat, prawns and vermouth. Season with salt, pepper and tabasco; cook until prawns are finished cooking. Mix in breadcrumbs, a little at a time. When the mixture holds together well, stop adding breadcrumbs. Taste and add more seasoning (salt, pepper and tabasco) if necessary. Set this mixture aside to let it cool.
Grease a baking tray.
Roll 1 sheet of puff pastry onto a flat surface. The puff pastry, once rolled should be about 5mm thick and large enough for you to lay the fish on top of it and still have puff pastry on the sides. Lay one of the fish fillets on top of the puff pastry. Spread the stuffing mixture evenly over the fish fillet. Place the remaining fillet over the stuffing. Trim the pastry around the fillets in roughly the shape of a fish. Save the trimmings.
Roll second sheet of puff pastry out to about 5mm thick. Drape second sheet over stuffed fillets, making sure that there is enough of the top sheet to tuck under the bottom sheet of puff pastry. Trim the top sheet of pastry about 1cm larger than the bottom sheet. Brush underside of top pastry sheet with water and tuck under bottom sheet of puff pastry pressing lightly to totally encase the fish and stuffing package. Place the sealed fish on the prepared baking tray, and let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
While pastry fish is chilling, roll out the pastry scraps. From the scraps cut out fins, an eye and 'lips'. Attach cut-outs to pastry fish with a little water. Use an inverted teaspoon to make indentations in puff pastry to resemble fish scales but do not puncture pastry. Chill entire pastry fish.
While it's chilling, preheat the oven to 220 C / Gas 7.
Remove the fish from the fridge and brush with beaten egg yolks. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180 C / Gas 4 and bake the fish for about another 10 - 20 minutes or until a thermometer reaches 70 degrees C in the thickest part.