Have you made a meal in a parchment packet before? I hadn’t. But now, consider me a convert to this cooking method. Here’s why:
It takes 20 minutes and requires barely any clean up. All you need is a long sheet of parchment, one fillet of fish (I used salmon, but I’ve since used haddock with similarly good results), a drizzle of high quality olive oil (I love California Olive Ranch Everyday olive oil), thin slices of garlic, rounds of citrus for moisture and flavor (orange, lemon, lime…), and any quick-cooking veggies you like (anything other than root veggies, which will take a lot longer to cook than the fish).
Here is a fantastic video tutorial on folding the packet in the proper, half moon-shaped way. I, however, can’t help myself and like to do most things on a wing and a prayer, so I chose to fold the parchment tightly into a rectangle. (Thankfully it worked.)
The packet went onto a cookie sheet and into the oven for about 18 minutes and when it emerged, lunch was self-contained and served. I ate it straight from the parchment. Classy as a box of wine.
I couldn’t tell which I liked more: the softness of the just-steamed fish or the light citrus sauce that was created inside my little pouch. I spooned it over the salmon while eating, but eventually resorted to upending the parchment into my mouth. I’ve been known to do worse, though. Want to know what else I do? Most times, when I steam broccoli (not using a steamer basket–just putting broccoli in a pot filled with about an inch or so of simmering water), I pour the small amount of water remaining in the pot into a cup and then…wait for it…drink it. Yes, I am the grossest. I tell myself it’s because some of the vitamins and minerals have seeped out of the broccoli and into the water and that it would be a shame to pour them down the drain. Then again, I tell myself a lot of wack-a-doo things. So.
Back to the salmon in parchment. It’s summery, healthy, and quick and easy to make. I think you’re going to love it.
- 4 12”x18” sheets of parchment paper
- 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 2 medium summer squash, thinly sliced
- 4 six-ounce salmon fillets
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 8 teaspoons olive oil (I like California Olive Ranch|http://www.californiaoliveranch.com/our-olive-oil]
- 1 large orange, skin removed and sliced into rounds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lay a square of parchment paper on a clean work surface. Fold the parchment in half, creasing the paper, then open it like a book. Put a quarter of the sliced zucchini and a quarter of the summer squash in a mound on one side of the crease on the parchment paper and season with salt. Lay one fillet of salmon on top of the vegetables and season it with salt and pepper. Arrange a quarter of the garlic slices over the salmon. Sprinkle with a quarter of the parsley. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over the top of the salmon and vegetables and arrange a quarter of the orange slices over the top.
- Fold the parchment over the salmon to close. Fold the unsecured edges inward and over one another until you have formed a half moon shape. Put the sealed parchment packet on a baking sheet and repeat the assembly process with the remaining salmon fillets.
- Bake for about 18 minutes. Serve immediately in the packets or transfer the salmon and vegetables to serving plates and pour the sauce in each packet over the top.
Feel free to substitute other fish--halibut would work beautifully. Also, lemon can be used in place of the orange with similar results.
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Nutrition Information for 1 Packet (1/4th of Entire Recipe): Calories 380, Total Fat 20.1 g, Total Carbohydrate 14.0 g, Dietary Fiber 4.1 g, Sugars 8.8 g, Protein 36.3 g