I love cooking en papillote (French for “in parchment”), but hadn’t done it in forever, so I decided to get some fresh salmon and use the technique. The technique involves in sealing food up in a parchment paper package and baking it, so the food steams in it’s own liquid. It’s an incredibly healthy way of cooking food, and not difficult at all. They key steps are to choose a lean, tender protein like fish, pork chops, or chicken breasts. Add a few vegetables and herbs, like onions, shallots, garlic, mushrooms, herbs, olives, peppers, peas, or capers. Lay out a heart shaped piece of parchment paper, place the protein on, then place the vegetables and herbs on top. Drizzle in a steaming liquid, which could be chicken stock, coconut milk, wine, vinegar, soy sauce, citrus juice, or fish sauce, and a little fat, such as butter, oil, or cream. Fold up tight, bake (425 °F for 10 minutes for thin fish fillets, 20 minutes for chicken breasts), open (being careful of steam), and enjoy!
First, make the sauce. Melt some butter and squeeze the juice of a lemon in a saucepan, then sautee some fresh tarragon and garlic cloves until cooked.
Place each piece salmon on a piece of parchment (recipes often call for a heart shaped packet, so that you can use the sealing technique described here), top with sliced leeks, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
Drizzle some of the butter sauce over each packet, then fold. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, open (careful of the hot steam!) and dig in!
Tarragon Salmon en Papillote
- 4 portions fresh salmon
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 leeks cut thin
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 8 oz mushrooms. sliced
Preheat oven to 400°F
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Combine with lemon juice, garlic, and tarragon. Continue to cook until garlic is tender, about 5 minutes.
Cut out 4 heart shaped pieces of parchment paper and arrange a piece of salmon in the center of one side of each heart. Top with leeks, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Drizzle with butter sauce.
Seal packets and bake for 15 minutes.