Today’s delicious dish – Salmon en papillote
Salmon is so very delicious, and so very healthy. My whole family loves salmon, for special occasions and for everyday meals. It can be expensive, but we think it’s worth it. For many years, I kept monkeying around with salmon, trying to do increasingly amazing things with it. But one day I realized it is the salmon that is amazing, and maybe I needed to do less to it and just let it be delicious.
I prefer skinless salmon because I don’t want to pay for something that I throw away. My favorite salmon is literally half of the entire fish (no head or tail) with no skin and no bones. There is no waste and no fussing with it. If you use salmon with skin, spread the olive oil and lemon pepper on the skinless side, then bake in the parchment packet with the skin down. When serving, you can easily leave the skin behind – it will be soggy and will peel off.
If you don’t have parchment paper, do yourself a favor and get a roll. It is not the same as waxed paper. Waxed paper is coated with wax, which can melt off, and can catch fire. You shouldn’t use waxed paper in the oven because of the fire danger. Parchment paper (as found in our grocery stores) is coated with silicone. It can withstand high heat (but don’t use it under the broiler or near a flame!) and it is completely non-stick. There are many good uses for parchment paper.
Although the name of this recipe is fancy, it is quite a simple thing to make. The name means “in parchment” in French. If you haven’t made a parchment packet before, don’t be intimidated. All you need to do is double fold it all around – the steam is what cooks the salmon, so it needs to stay inside the packet.
Salmon en papillote
- 1 1/2 pound skinless salmon fillet
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
Heat oven to 350°F.
Get a sheet of parchment paper larger than your piece of salmon and larger than your baking pan. Crease it in half the long way, then open it up and place it in baking pan. Place fillet on parchment paper in baking pan. Drizzle fish with 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Using fingers, spread oil and seasonings over fish. Turn fillet over. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning. Rub oil and seasoning over that side of the salmon.
Position salmon fillet so that parchment paper can be folded over fish. Then fold the edges together, creating a large, well-sealed packet.
Bake for 30 minutes. Take care when opening the parchment packet after cooking – hot steam can burn you!
Makes 4 servings, about 6 ounces each
Nutritional information (per serving): 375 calories, 26 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 35 grams protein, 0 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams sugars, 0 grams fiber, 100 milligrams cholesterol, 521 milligrams sodium
Cost per serving: $4.75
Preparation time: 45 minutes
What happens next?
To be honest, it is rare that we have salmon left over. But if we do, I might make up one or microwaveable meals of the dinner we had. It is equally delicious another day. This salmon does make wonderful salmon patties, so I usually make extra in order to have two servings of cooked salmon on hand. If I’m not going to make salmon patties in a day or two, I put the cooked salmon in the freezer. It will be fine for a month or more.
Another day’s delicious dish – Salmon Patties
I think of salmon patties as a 1950s foods, like Turkey Tetrazzini and Chicken a la King. But there’s nothing old-style about these salmon patties. The lemon flavor is very present and there’s a little spicy kick to them.
If you don’t have leftover Salmon en papillote, you can use canned salmon to make this recipe. A 14.75 ounce can will work fine – you’ll need to drain it and you probably want to pick out any bones and skin you see.
If you don’t have one already, you might want to get a zester. The skin of a citrus fruit contains aromatic and flavorful oils, which add a great punch of deliciousness to any dish. A zester is held firmly against the skin and drawn across the surface to make tiny strings of skin. Be careful not to zest your hand! A microplane grater will do the same job, but will make small shreds of the peel. If you have really good knife skills you can zest a lemon with a knife.
I love to serve salmon patties with a lightly dressed green salad and a piece of grilled bread. They also make a wonderful sandwich.
- 2 servings (about 12 ounces) Salmon en papillote
- 12 saltine crackers, finely crushed (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 egg
- Zest of a lemon (about 1 Tablespoon)
- Juice of a lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup prepared Ranch dressing
- 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
Using a fork, break up salmon into medium-sized flakes.
In separate bowl, mix cracker crumbs, paprika, ground mustard, cayenne pepper, and parsley flakes.
In another bowl, whisk together egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and Ranch dressing until smooth. Stir together salmon, wet ingredients, and dry ingredients until well mixed.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Form mixture into 3 patties, about 1/2 inch thick, each made from a generous 1/2 cup of the mixture. Cook salmon patties on medium high heat until well-browned on each side. Take care when flipping patties – they are delicate.
Makes 3 salmon patties, or 3 servings.
Nutritional information (per salmon patty): 440 calories, 32 grams fat, 5.5 grams saturated fat, 25 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams sugars, 0 grams fiber, 129 milligrams cholesterol, 645 milligrams sodium
Cost per serving: $3.50
Preparation time: 30 minutes