Follow me as I dive into the world that is cooking! There will be mishaps, burns and feasts as you watch my progression from college-student fare (pizza rolls and ramen noodles) to (hopefully) goddess of the hearth! I am always open to new recipes and ideas, so feel free to contact me.

July 30, 2011

Christmas in July: Unwrapping Salmon and Green Beans

My husband has a thing for opening presents.  It isn't necessarily what's inside of the box, but the mini-adventure of tearing away the paper and knowing something awesome awaits.  I know, a bit adorable.  With this in mind, I knew whatever I put inside this parchment paper tonight was gonna taste great to him, simply because he got to unwrap a "food present".

I'd had a long day today, and was not feeling that great when I got home to make dinner.  Unfortunately my husband had a longer day than me and needed to eat.  I opened the fridge, debated the leftover turkey burgers, then peered behind them, begrudgingly acknowledging the fantastically on-sale, wild-caught Alaskan salmon that needed to be cooked soon.  Crap.  I scrambled around in some books and came across this recipe for salmon and green beans baked in parchment.  Damn I love Martha Stewart sometimes.  Just put everything in some paper, fold it up, and cook it.  Easy enough.  May I puff up my feathers for a second to say that I had everything ready right when he walked in the door AND managed to use up a few lemons. Huzzah!

This one's a healthy bundle of joy in your face that's easy to make and tastes amazing.  Cooking in parchment paper is not only a healthy alternative to pan-frying, but it is also a SUPER easy cleanup in both prep and consumption.  Just plop the little parchment envelopes on a plate and voila!  I haven't tried it with farmed salmon ( I'm scared to because this spoiled me), but I imagine it's good.

Salmon and Green Beans with Lemon and Capers
Takes: 20 mins   Makes: 2 6-oz fillet servings
You Need:
  • 2 6-oz fillets (thereabout) salmon, skin on if you want
  • 1/4 lb green beans, trimmed
  • coarse salt and pepper
  • capers
  • wide slices of rind from 1 large lemon
  • 2 tsp olive oil (or just wing it a bit)
  • parchment paper at least 13 in. wide
  • kitchen twine (optional)
1.  Preheat oven to 400.  Rinse fish; pat dry.  Skin it if you so wish :)  Cut 2 16-inch long pieces of parchment paper and place salmon in the center.  Add green beans, capers, and lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle with olive oil.
2.  There are two ways to fold the paper:
The first fold, the envelope, I think is easier to access the fish from and it looks cool.  Take the two longer ends of the paper and fold them three times over to make a fold, much like folding the cuff on a shirt.  This should wrap the paper close to the fish.  Take the two shorter ends and fold them under the packet one at a time, tying them with kitchen twine if necessary.
The second fold is easier to do but not as fancy-schmancy.  Simply take the two long ends and fold them once together, then twist the parchment on both of the short ends.  It should look like a giant piece of candy.  The key is to make sure the parchment is completely sealed.  Do NOT open them to check and see if the food is done or you will let the steam escape!
3.  Place on a rimmed cookie sheet and cook for 12-15 (it took me 12 with 3/4-inch thick fillets) minutes or until packets are slightly puffed up and salmon is cooked through.  Salmon will be pink and have fat (good fat!) sitting on top.  You can unwrap them, or just simply place them on your plate!

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