Salmon Coulibiac is what chicken pot pie wished it was: a layered fish pie with a classic layer of sautéed onions and mushrooms, a layer of hard boiled eggs, my layer of sautéed zucchini squash and a layer of flaky, poached salmon surrounded by a buttery crust. It is actually pretty quick to make, takes about an hour, and is fun to put together.
What is coulibiac? Apparently, Escoffier, the father of modern French cuisine, was working in his father’s restaurant, Francais, when some homesick Russians came in and asked for what became the coulibiac we know today. It was a dish from Mother Russia that Escoffier interpreted with layers of salmon and duxelles, a mushroom, onion mixture, rice cooked in bullion and hardboiled eggs all wrapped up in a buttery pastry. In my opinion no need to add rice since there is starch a-plenty in the pastry and adding a bit of sautéed zucchini adds a vegetable dimension that makes it ping on all the requirements of the old food pyramid.
Escoffier says to use a brioche paste without sugar, which means it’s eggy. However, I prefer a non-egg dough so I used a commercially available puff pastry by Pepperidge Farm. It worked beautifully and saves hours of time. You can also use 3-2-1 paste found here.
Why try creating this difficult dish?…