Is anyone else in a food slump? You know, that feeling of unfullfilment after the holidays when your taste buds are still reeling from copious amounts of decadent dinners? Plus, it’s too cold and you’re too tired to make a creative dinner? I’m there.
I decided to make salmon en papillote, which is French for “in parchment.” The parchment paper seals in all the juices and moisture so it steams. Lots of cultures have a version of this: in Asia they use large banana or cassava leaves instead of parchment, and in Italy they even cook pasta this way, called al cartoccio. It’s so simple, flavorful, and quick.
You can put just about anything en papillote. I bought salmon at the farmers market, and used carrots and potatoes since I’m still going through the produce from my CSA winter share. I can’t wait for spring so I can make this again with asparagus!
Salmon En Papillote with Carrots and Potatoes
Makes 2 servings
Total time: 25 minutes
In my basket:
1 lb Salmon (from Jordan Brothers Seafood, Brockton MA)
2 small Potatoes (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)
2 medium Carrots (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)
From the pantry:
4 tbsp Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Wash and slice potatoes and carrots into ¼ inch rounds. Halve the salmon. Cut two large rounds of lemon.
3. Tear two pieces of parchment paper, each about 15 inches. Fold each piece of parchment paper in half, and then unfold. On one half of the paper, place half the potatoes in a single layer. Using a basting brush, brush the potatoes with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place one piece of fish on top, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with carrots, brush with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place a lemon round on top. Repeat with second filet on the second piece of parchment.
4. Fold the parchment paper over the half with the salmon, and then begin to fold and press down the edges. Starting from one end, fold in a section, roll the paper, then fold in another section, and repeat all the way around until it looks like a parchment paper empanada.
5. Bake parchment packets in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Open one of the packets carefully to check that it’s done, and then remove from the oven.
6. Carefully cut an X into the top of the parchment paper, and then plate each packet. Tear from the X to open for a fun presentation. Enjoy!
Alice Kathryn Richardson is a new media photojournalist based in Boston, MA. She created The Clean Food Club on May 1, 2016, and previously spent two years working on Deserts in the District, a series of short-form documentaries exploring food access and hunger in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter @AKR_Pictures.