salmon: saumon en papillote

Happy New Year!
What a splendid time we all had and so many great meals that there’s plenty of posts awaiting and lots of fresh air & walking to do – resolutions and all that.

Sadly I am the only one in our house who loves fish & seafood with a passion, so unfortunately it is not so often on the menu. As the legend goes my husband was born with the doctor tucking into a mighty portion of fish & chips, which in my book should have had some fish-loving impact. Unfortunately it seems to have caused an adverse reaction to the fish but he can’t pass chips without splashing them with malt vinegar. Anyway, these days non-too-fishy fishes have been accepted & even liked and that is something.

This salmon is a favourite and one of the most brilliant ways of cooking any fish: thick slices resting on a bed of vegetables are steamed slowly in white wine & aromatics and thus it will be juicy and lightly fragrant. Plus, these parchment parcels look extremely pretty and can be filled with about anything to accompany the fish like sugar or snow peas. Once the parchment parcels are sealed and stashed in the oven the work is done, save for some rice to be quickly cooked and some spinach to be wilted. Tadaa!

A note about the portion size: a 200g-220g slice of salmon is enough for us two since we have lots of vegetables to go with the dinner and sometimes a starter, most people calculate 150g (about 5 oz) per person.

Make leftovers for Fish cakes: We always use any leftover white fish or salmon for fish cakes and you should plan an extra portion for some to be made during the next week + they can be frozen for an instant and no work supper, too and are absolutely delicious.

Salmon en papillote
serves two + second portion for fish cakes in the week

two 200g-220g (7-7½ oz) pieces of salmon (from the thicker middle, without skin)
1 big carrot, cut into julienne
½ leek, cut into julienne
a few dill fronds
2 thin lemon slices
salt & pepper
a generous dash white wine per parcel

a small knob of butter per parcel

Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Take a large piece of parchment paper that could be folded into a pouch containing the salmon, about the size of a sheet of paper. Put the carrot & leek juliennes onto the paper (in the lower third), season with salt & pepper, then place the salmon on top of the vegetables like a trivet, cover with the lemon slices & dill, top with a knob of butter and season again. Turn the paper over and fold the small sides a few times to form the pouch. Pour the white wine into the pouch and close the last opening, seal with a few staples.

Bake for about 20 minutes and serve en papillote to be cut open at the table. There will be a little sauce left in the paper pouches and wonderful soft leeks and carrots, the fish absolutely juicy and perfectly cooked.

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