Saturday, February 4, 2012

Salmon en papillote

Want to "wow" your family and/or dinner guests?
Without breaking a sweat and stinking up your house?
Look no further.
This is your easy, quick, fool-proof, absolutely perfect recipe.

"Salmon en Papillote"

Sounds fancy.  But I assure you, ANYONE could make this.
Adapted from Kelsey Nixon.
Original recipe {HERE}

Seriously, this salmon is SO flavorful,
not to mention perfectly literally melts in your mouth!
And the marinade could be drunk in a glass.  It is THAT good.

I've written the recipe for 2 servings,
but feel free to double or triple as needed.

Here we go...


Ginger, ~ 1 inch, peeled and chopped finely
Garlic, ~ 3 cloves, peeled and chopped finely
Zest of half an orange
Soy sauce, 3 Tbsp
Orange juice, 1 Tbsp (you can use fresh from the orange you zested)
White wine (or rice wine) vinegar, 2 tsp
Sesame oil, 2 tsp
Agave nectar (or honey), 1 tsp

Vegetable bed
Baby bok choy, 1-2 heads, rinsed and separated
Red bell pepper, 1/2, seeded and thinly sliced
Carrot, 1, thinly sliced
Green beans, 1 handful, trimmed
Scallions, 3, sliced on the diagonal
(use white parts with other veggies, green parts for garnish)

Salmon fillets, 2 (approx. 6 oz each)*
(I bought mine from Whole Foods...the fresher the better!  They should smell like the ocean, NOT fish!  The farmed vs. wild controversy still exists, with the edge being given to's really up to you!  Regardless, both varieties are low in mercury and thus can be safely consumed by preggo's like me!)

Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for brushing packets

*you could substitute halibut, or another firm white fish


Prep your parchment paper ("en papillote") by cutting 2 ~12"x16" rectangles.
Fold them in half, lengthwise.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix together marinade.
You can do this a few hours prior to assembly if you really want to marry those delicious flavors!
(Store leftover ginger in a ziplock bag in the fridge or freezer.)

Start assembling your veggie bed...
Open up the parchment rectangles on your work surface.
First, lay down your bok choy cabbage, just to the right of the fold.
Next layer your green beans, red peppers, carrots, and onions.
(Note:  Kelsey used bok choy, bean sprouts, and bell can use WHATEVER you like, what looks good or is on sale at your market, etc.)
Spoon ~ 2 spoonfuls of marinade over veggies.

Lay down your salmon fillet on top of the veggies.
Season with fresh cracked pepper.
(No need for salt, as the soy sauce in the marinade is salty enough!)
Spoon 2-3 more spoonfuls of the marinade over the salmon.

Now, it's time to get your fold on.
This may sound tricky, but it really could not be any easier.
Trust me.
Versus a verbal explanation, it will be easiest if you just watch THIS VIDEO...
go ahead and fast forward to the folding part at approx. minute 3:15.

Place the folded packets on your cookie sheet.
Brush the top of the packets with olive generous.  This will keep things moist and from catching on fire in the oven!

Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
(The packets will puff up to let you know the steamy magic is happening!)

While you're waiting, go ahead and make a quick side.
(Think: quick-cooking brown rice, more steamed veg such as snap peas, etc.)
I made whole wheat couscous (cooked in chicken stock) with dried cranberries, toasted almonds & scallions.  I also added the remaining amount of marinade to the hot chicken stock, to ensure deliciousness and complimentary flavors.  It was done at the EXACT same time as the fish and tasted awesome.

Plate some couscous,
add your packet and cut it open, table-side.
(Your dinner companions will be greeted with some pretty amazing smells and will sing your praises at the fancy presentation.)
Sprinkle with scallions.

The salmon will be so moist and flavorful.
(An a + b guarantee.)

I can't think of another dinner party recipe that would ensure 2-6 fish entrees,
cooked perfectly and all done at the same time.
You MUST try this.

I would serve with a crisp white wine,
say a Sauvignon Blanc.
(If your guests ask if they can bring something,
suggest this...or tell them to bring dessert!)

Before I go, let's just quick re-cap the nutrition benefits in this delicious meal...

High in protein, vitamin D, omega-3 fats (those are the good ones!), B12, B6, magnesium & calcium...just to name a few.  A true power food!  Get some.
Immune-boosting action via anti-inflammatory (& anti-cancer!) mechanisms, & promotes gastrointestinal health/comfort.  Adds a punch of flavor with none of the salt or fat.
Nick-named the "wonder drug" or "natural antibiotic"...helps with blood pressure, cholesterol, immune function, you name it!  (Not to mention it tastes good!)

(And don't forget all of the other fresh veggies, cranberries (cheers to your urinary tract!), almonds (more healthy fats!), & whole grains (fiber!) that were used!)


~photos by b~

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