Salmon en Papillote, a culinary delight that captures the essence of freshness and flavor through a simple yet elegant cooking technique. The name itself, French for “salmon in parchment,” hints at the unique method of preparation that involves enclosing the salmon fillet in a parchment paper pouch. This not only seals in the moisture but also allows the fish to steam gently in its juices, resulting in a succulent and perfectly cooked dish.
Preparation for Salmon en Papillote
To embark on this culinary journey, start with high-quality salmon fillets. Season them generously with salt, pepper, and any herbs of your choice – dill, thyme, and lemon zest work wonders. The parchment paper serves as a cocoon for the salmon, ensuring that all the flavors meld together harmoniously.
Now, the art of folding the parchment paper is crucial. Begin by cutting a heart-shaped piece of parchment paper – the heart shape is traditional and effective for sealing in the juices. Place the seasoned salmon fillet on one side of the heart, leaving enough space around the edges for folding.
To seal the pouch, carefully fold the other half of the heart over the salmon. Start at the top of the heart, and make small, overlapping folds along the edges, working your way down to the point. The goal is to create a tightly sealed packet that will trap the steam and juices, infusing the salmon with intense flavors.
Cooking Salmon en Papillote
Once you’ve mastered the folding technique, place the parchment-wrapped salmon on a baking sheet and into a preheated oven. The magic happens as the pouch puffs up with steam, indicating that the salmon is cooking to perfection. The cooking time varies depending on the thickness of the fillet, but a general guideline is around 12-15 minutes at 375°F (190°C).
The unveiling of the parchment pouch is a moment of anticipation. As you carefully open it, the aromatic steam escapes, and you’re greeted by a beautifully cooked salmon fillet, moist and infused with aromatic herbs. Serve it directly on the parchment or transfer it to a plate for an impressive presentation.
Salmon en Papillote not only delights the palate but also offers a visually stunning dining experience. The parchment paper, once a humble kitchen staple, transforms into a vessel of culinary excellence, delivering a dish that celebrates the natural flavors of the salmon. So, embrace this classic French technique, and elevate your salmon game with the artful simplicity of Salmon en Papillote.
Salmon en Papillote (Salmon in Parchment)
2 parchment papers squares
4 salmon fillets
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
6 button mushrooms, sliced
6 scallions, trimmed
4 tablespoons olive oil
- Sauce (mix in a bowl):
¼ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 355 F (180 C).
- Cut each salmon fillet lengthwise and spread it open. Fold the parchment paper into a 1” wide long rectangle (as seen in the images/video). Tie the ends and spread it out to create a boat shape.
- Place the vegetables in the paper boat, add olive oil and salt and place the salmon pieces on top.
- Pour the sauce generously on the salmon fillets, brush to cover and bake for 20 minutes.