Lately, I’ve chatted with several people that aren’t that crazy about salmon. Really? you don’t like salmon? This was an idea that had never occurred to me, but its true. They like other fish and seafood, but have never developed a liking for the distinctive taste of this vibrantly colored fresh-water fish.
Of course, I can’t help but feel that this distaste may be grounded in past experiences and encounters with over cooked, bland, not necessarily fresh, or otherwise ill-prepared salmon. Last year, I shared my recipe for Glazed Grilled Salmon which is how my family grew to love the tender pink flesh of salmon.
Years later I have an arsenal of delicious salmon dishes: a favorite and often requested pasta: Salmon with Bow Tie Pasta and Peas; a recent hit: Baked Salmon Eggrolls; an elegant, weekend breakfast or brunch dish, Salmon-Wrapped Poached Eggs.
But don’t just listen to me, health experts have all kinds of reasons to love salmon, surely you’ve heard them, and even if you have, the health benefits are important enough to repeat here: Salmon contains abundant amounts of omega-3 which protects the heart from plaque buildup on your arteries. They lower triglycerides, which may in turn raise good cholesterol levels, and they reduce blood pressure which potentially, over the long term, helps to lower your risk of heart disease. I know this from reading and from those close to me who suffer from heart disease.
Today, I continue to encourage you to include salmon in your weekly repertoire with an easy, healthful preparation: Salmon En Papillote (cooking in parchment) which is really just another way to say “delicious” 🙂 Cooking in parchment is a great all-purpose technique for poultry, vegetables, and any delicate fish that might fall apart in a pan or on the grill (think sole or halibut). For the health conscious cook, it brings out big flavors while preserving essential vitamins and nutrients. It’s also a snap to make an entire meal in one neat little package – translation: no pots and pans to wash. Plus, it’s fun opening a present for dinner!
- 2 Tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup Chinese peas trimmed
- 1/2 white onion thinly sliced
- 2 - 6 ounce boneless salmon fillets preferably wild sockeye
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- thinly sliced white onions
- thinly sliced lemon peel
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut out two 12" x 17" pieces of parchment; fold each in half crosswise to form a crease, then open.
Combine soy sauce, ginger, and lemon juice. Divide peas and onions evenly among the two parchment pieces, arranging the mixture on one side of the crease. Lay salmon fillet on top of the vegetables. Season with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of sesame oil. Fold parchment over ingredients; beginning in one corner make overlapping folds to seal, creating a half moon-shape packet.
Place the two packets on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes for medium rare or 12 minutes for medium. Carefully open packet; sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Variations: The possibilities are endless - use vegetables that you have on hand and experiment with different sauces. Layer ingredients based on how long each will take to cook; vegetables with longer cooking times, like squash or onions, should go on the bottom of the pile, topped with fish fillets or chicken breast and finally your herbs and aromatics.