My apologies for a delayed start this week ~ we spent the first few days of the week in DC. Yes, we survived the snow storm. The city was remarkably efficient at clearing the streets and we were able to get around quite easily. I know we are all tired of talking about the weather, but I have to mention that on Monday the low was 9 degrees. How is that even possible? Anyway, I am totally anxious to go back there now ~ what a cool city. There is so much to see. Richard laughed at me because I kept being like “that store’s cute, that bar’s cute, that place looks cute.” Not to mention all of the museums. . . .there is never enough time.
Back to the topic at hand. . . .this is one of those dinners that is crazy easy, but so flavorful that it has definitely become one of my “go-tos”. You may have seen “salmon en papillote” or salmon in parchment paper on the menu at some French restaurants. Salmon and vegetables are placed in a sealed packet along with some olive oil or white wine and seasonings. The sealed packet creates a mini steam oven, if you will, that infuses the fish with the flavors that are in the parchment and keeps the fish from drying out. In my house, we simply call it “fish in a bag” ~ we aren’t that fancy.
There are endless variations with this method depending on what your palate favors. This recipe is from Martha Stewart and you can find it here. The salmon sits on a bed of sliced oranges and spinach. It becomes infused with flavor from the shallots, orange zest and ginger. You could definitely make this for guests ~ just assemble the packets ahead of time and pop them in the oven 15 minutes or so before you would like to eat and serve some rice on the side. I like it because it is a really unique combination of flavors. I think we all get tired of salmon with lemon and olive oil.
Just a few thoughts on the recipe. Don’t be frightened by the whole “parchment” concept. Once you cut the squares of parchment (16 inches long or so, depending on the size of your fillets), keep your spinach and salmon to the right of center. Then fold over the left portion of the square and seal all the way around. It almost looks more like a semi-circle when you are done. Spinach cooks down A LOT, so be generous with it. Cooking time will depend on the size of the fillets, but when the paper starts to turn slightly brown and the kitchen starts to smell good, you will know it is done!
I hope this gives you a great idea for an easy, new dinner. Here are some other variations on the same concept that I haven’t tried yet, but sound delicious:
Happy almost Friday 🙂