The Commercial Appeal
Salmon baked in parchment technique is easy, provides unusual presentation
Lent is here and that means good prices on seafood. If you’d like to venture out of your seafood comfort zone, how about making salmon en papillote? A fancy French name for salmon baked in parchment, this technique is easy and makes for an unusual presentation. Each person has a packet to open. Now if you don’t have parchment, foil works, too.
The oven’s heat creates steam inside the pouch allowing for perfectly cooked, moist fish. When it’s opened, a puff of steam is released along with a tantalizing aroma.
As far as adding ingredients, that’s up to you. You can’t go wrong with one or more. Citrus, herbs, vegetables are all good companion flavors.
I had some leftover leeks, carrots and zucchini so that’s what I used.
Make salmon in parchment for one or two, or a crowd. You can prep pouches several hours ahead. They won’t take long to cook, either – 20 minutes or so max depending on size.
Salmon en papillote/salmon in parchment
Parchment or foil
Boneless skinless salmon filets, anywhere from 4-8 oz. (I had 5 oz. filets)
Thinly sliced lemon or lime
Thinly sliced leek, shallots or onion
Parsley or dill for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400.
Filets are usually boneless, but you may find a stray bone. Run fingers over edges and top – you’ll feel any bones. They’re easily pulled out with tweezers.
Cut large heart-shaped or rectangles of parchment paper or foil. If making hearts, fold in half down the middle. For hearts, place the ingredients on one side of the middle crease; for rectangles, ingredients go in the center.
Place ingredients as follows on parchment or foil:
One or 2 citrus slices
A few slices of leek, shallots or one nice slice of onion
Fistful of each: zucchini and carrot
Place filet on top and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle seasoning on fish and vegetables.
For hearts, fold the other side over and crimp rounded edges tightly closed.
For rectangles, fold edges tightly over top, fold sides and tuck under.
Leave a bit of room for expansion.
Place on baking sheet and cook until done to your liking. As far as temperature, 145 degrees is safe. Start checking after 10 minutes for smaller filets. Take it out sooner rather than later. There’s carryover cooking that occurs which means the fish will continue to cook from residual heat. You can always put it back in the oven to finish. Fish is done when it flakes easily but is still moist.