Monday, September 14, 2009

Salmon with Herbs in Parchment

Mentally, I feel as if my brain is going into some kind of state of hibernation. It's instinctual. It knows how challenging and full the next couple of months will be. It's storing up. Creating space for what's to come. The saying at work right now is "Head down, push forward...try not to think too much about what's to come and take it a day at a time." Don't think about several 15 hour days in a row coming up, just keep going! Yikes. What else can you do? You just have to get through it. One day at a time.

And you have to stay healthy of course, and maybe drink some EmergenC and eat a lot of fish (brain food, you know). And you try your best to talk your friends into cooking for you, or bringing home their leftovers from dinners at Chez Panisse (yes, that actually happened!). When you're not moaning happily over those leftovers, you're patting yourself on the back for finally getting around to using parchment to cook fish.

This is a very basic (not to mention healthy way) to cook fish. I don't even use any oil for this recipe. The parchment seals in the juices and fat in the fish. The meat is tender, perfectly cooked, and if the fish is high quality, you don't even need any sauce to accompany it. It's quite delicious on it's own. I like to serve alongside rice, couscous or lightly blanched vegetables. It's so easy I'm embarrassed I'd never tried it before!

Salmon with Herbs in Parchment
2 salmon fillets (I used wild king salmon)
1 tbsp basil
6 lemon slices
salt & pepper for seasoning the fish
a sprinkling of fresh parsley on top
2 sheets of 15 inch parchment

Pre-heat the oven to 400. Place each salmon fillet in the middle of your sheet of parchment. Make 3 deep cuts with your knife in each fillet. Stuff the cuts with the basil. Season the fish with salt and pepper and lay the 3 lemon slices on top of each piece. Fold the parchment paper in half, place fish on one side and fold the other side over so the edges meet. Fold, roll and press the open sides together until it creates a sealed package for the fish. Set each parchment package on a baking sheet and put into the oven for 20 minutes. Remove, cut open the parchment and top with parsley.

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