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Monday, 31 March 2014

Saumon en Papillote - Salmon baked in Paper

Have I ever mentioned that green and blue are my favourite colours?
Green for earth at its best and blue for the sea and the sky.
The earth because it is life, roots and grounding.
The sea because its beautiful and mighty.
The sky because its spiritual and open.
All great things are powerful, beautiful, soulful and open yet still grounded...

Salmon is perhaps the ultimate resident of my top list favourite food. Yes sure it is full of nutrients, the Omega factor, the antioxidants, the super food categorisation and all that health talk... but mostly because it is rich! Rich in flavour, rich in nutrients, rich in giving and just rich all round. There is no way you will eat salmon and mistake it for any other fish. It is unique, delicious and prominent - a perfect ingredient for a perfect meal.

Because salmon is rich in flavour, it could sometimes be a bit too much for some. But I tell you, when done right and with the right combinations, salmon is a pleasure to eat even for the fussiest of eaters, so stay open minded (even if you have already decided you are not a big fan) and give this recipe a try.
I frequently make this and both my friends and family (including young children) always love it and you will too.

Cut long rectangles out of baking paper, fill them with
your desired ingredients then seal the paper by tightly
rolling in the sides and edges.
'En Papillote' is the French term for food cooked wrapped in baking paper. It is a popular French cuisine technique that is very similar to the Asian wrapping in banana leaves, the Middle Eastern wrapping in vine leaves or the modern wrapping of food in newspapers - where the food is separated from the ink by being wrapped in bundles of herbs first -  and it is essentially the same function as cooking in a Tagine pot. (read more about Tagine cooking on this link)

The whole idea of wrapping food with any type of paper is that the ingredients will snuggle tightly together and as they cook they will steam and continue to be moistened by the steam therefore turn out succulently moist and tender. Because the ingredients are tightly wrapped they do not lose any nutrients or flavours. In fact, they even lend their flavours to each other inside the paper, making the finished food really very flavoursome.

What more can any cooking method do for food? Therefore, do opt for 'en papillote' often and see how decadent your food comes out. Although this method is most popular with fish, it can be carried out with different meats, as well as vegetarian concoctions.

Always use fresh ingredients. Makes all the difference to the flavour and texture of the food.
Good quality ingredients always produce outstanding food.
Saumon En Papillote
Serves 4 - Easy
Choose organic, don't trust cocktails
of chemicals with your health!
You Need
4 fresh salmon fillets
a large bundle of baby asparagus
12 baby shallots, peeled and kept whole
zest and juice of 2 lemons
zest and juice of 2 limes
1 small bunch fresh coriander, chopped
1 small bunch fresh dills, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt** & Black pepper to taste

For the Baked Potatoes
1 kg Red baby potatoes
2 tbsp Olive oil
Salt** & Black pepper to taste

**I used pink Himalayan salt, love its flavour and the fact that it is not refined salt, which makes it healthier as well.

Start by roasting the asparagus. Place them over a baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Turning once throughout.

In the meantime, peel the onions and set aside.

Prepare the marinade for the salmon. Mix together the olive oil, zest and juice of lime and lemon, as well as the chopped herbs and seasoning. Place the salmon fillets in the marinade and flip to coat. Set aside.

Salmon en Papillote
Cut long rectangles of baking paper and fold in half. Open the paper and place some roasted asparagus on one side then top with the marinated salmon and some of the marinade sauce and herbs. Add a few onions and fold the paper to cover. Seal by tightly rolling in the sides, then roll in the edges.

Place the papillotes on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven (375F / 190C) for 12-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve hot alongside lime wedges and roasted potatoes or an assorted leaves salad.

For the roasted potatoes, 
simply dress the washed potatoes with oil and season with salt & black pepper and roast in a hot oven until tender (30- 40 minutes) or crispy (1 hour, tossing regularly).

Hope you like this recipe. Do give it a try, I know you will  it. 
Come back soon for more....
All the excitement is just about to begin!