Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Saumon en Papillote

Salmon in Parchment Bag

We love salmon, it can be served in so many ways! I wanted to write “cooked” but since salmon in sushi, sashimi or as a tartar is raw…you get the picture. I have served salmon in every possible way including simmered in fish chowder. One method, however, stands apart: en Papillote or in paper bag. Very classical and sort of high end presentation. I used to prepare it quite often but later I prefer to serve salmon raw or medium rare with super crispy (charred?) skin. I bought two salmon fillet portions without a skin so crispy skin method was out and I didn’t feel for sushi so one of the alternate ways was to bake the fish in paper bag. This method can also be used for other fish like cod, sea bass, trout etc. and even chicken breast. Seasonings used with salmon is quite varied as well: Asian with Enokitake mushrooms, green onions and sesame oil comes to mind, or my preferred way with julienned red and green pepper, zucchini, lemon, butter, sea salt and Herbes de Provence. Simple and yet very elegant meal.

2 Salmon fillet portions, skinless and boneless
2Tbs. softened butter
1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence (recipe below)
1-1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly cracked or ground black pepper
3 thin slices lemon (1/8”) cut in half
2 pieces parchment paper cut into 15”X17” oval


Preheat oven to 400 °F.
Lightly butter center of parchment paper and place salmon just below the center. Sprinkle sae salt and black pepper on top and top with 3 lemon slices followed by julienned peppers and zucchini. Mix butter and herb mix together and dot the vegetables with small pieces of herbed butter, about 1 Tbs. for each fillet.
Fold the paper towards you and start folding one side if the fold. Continue folding until you reach other side of fold and the bag is completely sealed. Tuck the last fold under to keep it closed.
Place oven on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes for medium rare. It will keep cooking after being removed from oven. Cut diagonal slits on top of bag with scissors being careful not to get scalded by steam. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice in a bag or you can remove the salmon and veggies from the bag and serve it on preheated plate.

Start folding...

Last fold is placed under the packet

Another serving option is removing contents of the papilotte on plate.

Herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons dried savory
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried fennel seed


In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Store in an air-tight container.

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