Citizens, in honor of your glorious leader’s birthday, today I share a legendary recipe suitable for the feasting table of the Czar Himself – and for TFD! 😀
Coulibiac is a classic of old Russian cuisine, traditionally made of flaked salmon combined with mushroom duxelles (Duxelles, named for the seventeenth century French Marquis d’Uxelles, a delectable mixture of finely chopped mushrooms, shallots, and herbs), leek, and chopped hard-boiled eggs, all encased in puff pastry.
The dish was so popular in Russia in the early part of the 20th century that Auguste Escoffier, the famed French chef, brought it to France and included recipes for it in his masterwork, The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery.
The Franco-Russian version of this recipe originally used vesiga, a luxurious and supremely rare ingredient: the spinal marrow of a sturgeon (a tasteless textural ingredient here replaced by Asian cellophane noodles, which are the equivalent of vesiga in every way). While time consuming, the end result is truly delicious!
Most modern coulibiacs use rice, but I instead go with the classic tradition of the grand coulibiac of Escoffier and use crêpes instead. I have also added the smoked salmon, which is not used in the classic recipe but I find adds a delicious nuance to the final flavor profile. The original Russian coulibiac used sturgeon with the salmon, I find sea bass to be an excellent substitute. While I call for making your own puff pastry, you can easily simplify the recipe by purchasing top-quality frozen puff pastry dough instead.
Citizens, this is one of the grandest recipes you will ever make – remember the glory of your leader, the awe-inspiring TFD, and his birthday when you make this most exquisite of dishes for your VERY lucky guests! 🙂
Battle on – The Generalissimo