Vol-Au-Vent With Whitefish Poached In Shiitake Cream Sauce

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vol-au-vent with whitefish poached in shiitake cream sauce

Just because something has a French name, does not mean it is difficult. This recipe for vol-au-vent with whitefish for example takes less than 20 minutes. Not to mention it’s quite fun to make as well. While a vol-au-vent refers to the puff pastry tower that is made, you can use whatever filling you want. From savory meats to seafood, to sweet desserts, you can get extremely creative with this recipe.

After making my sumac and pistachio crusted whitefish I have become a fan of cooking with iridescent shark. This fish, also called swai, or shark catfish, is extremely cheap and has a soft buttery flesh. I was actually surprised I would like it so much since it is basically like $1 per fillet.

This recipe uses 500 grams of puff pastry, which will make about 8 vol-au-vents, or more if you can roll out the pastry in a more economical manner than myself. Due to the short cooking time, this vol-au-vent with whitefish only takes 10 minutes to cook after cutting out your pastry rings.

puff pastry cutouts for vol-au-vent

Vol-Au-Vent With Whitefish Technique

For this recipe you will need a ring mold, or a circle cookie cutter. If you don’t have that no need to worry, You can use a large wine glass and a fluted champagne glass in a pinch.

Make 16 cutouts (or whatever the maximum even number you can with your pastry) using a large ring, and then on half of them use a small ring to cut out a circle in the middle.

laminating the puff pastry cutouts together

Whisk and egg yolk and brush the yolk over the tops of all the pastry circles. Use a spatula to lift the circles with smaller circle cutouts on top of the base circles. Check the pictures to see this set-up.

To poach the whitefish in the mushroom cream sauce, you have to make the cream sauce first. It’s actually extremely easy, and I was able to do it while the puff pastry was baking in the oven. Just take a skillet on medium high heat, saute some shallot and shiitake mushrooms in a small bit of oil, then add the heavy cream and a big dab of butter. Once the cream starts to boil toss in the pieces of whitefish and turn off the heat. The residual heat from the pan and sauce will cook the fish in just a few minutes.

sauteeing mushrooms and shallot for the vol-au-vent with whitefish

After the vol-au-vents are baked, use a small fish knife to prise out the middle circle. This is of course where the filling will go. You can serve the finished vol-au-vent with whitefish still with the middle circle, or you can discard it. I like to keep it there as a sort of hat for the filling.

The plate featured in the main picture for the best chocolate cake, and the one below is my absolutely gorgeous Churchill Stonecast Duck Egg Blue 11 Inch Round, available on Amazon. I like to serve these on an overlarge plate to class it up a bit and Churchill is one of my favorite brands.

vol-au-vent with whitefish on a churchill duck egg blue plate

Vol-Au-Vent With Whitefish Poached In Shiitake Cream Sauce

This French inspired meal can be served in small portions as an hors d'ouevre, or in a large version for a main course. Despite the impressive appearance, it is actually quite simple to make.
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Course: Appetizer, Bread, Main Course, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Mushroom Cream Sauce, Vol-Au-Vent, Whitefish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Ring Molds (or circle cookie cutter)

Ingredients

  • 500 grams Puff Pastry store-bought is fine
  • 50 grams Shiitake Mushrooms sliced
  • 125 grams Whitefish chopped into bite size pieces. I used iridescent shark, but you could use halibut, or sole if convenient
  • 1 medium Shallot about 1/4 cup chopped amount
  • 150 ml Heavy Cream
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt large flakes, to taste
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper freshly cracked
  • Dill optional

Instructions

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 220 Celsius (or whatever is recommended on your package of puff pastry). Roll out the puff pastry dough and use a ring mold or circle cookie cutter to cut out an even amount of circles. In half of the cutouts, use a smaller ring mold (or a champagne glass) to punch out the middle part.
  • Beat an egg yolk and brush the liquid over all of the pastry circles. Use a spatula to lift the circles with a cutout on top of the circles without a cutout. Sprinkle some sea salt over the tops of the pastry.
  • Place the unbaked vol-au-vent into the oven for 12-15 minutes (or whatever is recommended on your package).
  • In a saute pan on medium heat, add the olive oil, shallot, and sliced shiitake mushrooms. You can also add black pepper at this time as well. When the shallots begin to get translucent and the mushrooms begin to brown, add in the heavy cream and butter and stir.
  • When the pan is boiling add the whitefish and turn off the heat. Give everything a good stir and let the residual heat cook the fish.
  • Use a thin fish knife to prise the middle circle out of the baked vol-au-vent pastry. Take a spoon and spoon the whitefish cream sauce mixture into the middle of the vol-au-vent. Garnish with dill and serve hot.

Notes

The whitefish and cream sauce can be made before hand and just heated up right before filling the pastry. However as it takes the same time to make the sauce as it does to bake the pastry, you might as well just do everything in a row. 
These do not hold very well for more than a couple hours, as the cream sauce causes the pastry to get soggy. Best to make them right before you plan to serve them.
Did you make this?Mention @CookingToEntertain or tag #cookingtoentertain and let me know how it was!
vol-au-vent with whitefish poached in mushroom cream sauce portrait.


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