I was first exposed to this preparation by Giada DeLaurentiis, when I had dinner at her home a few years ago. Just kidding, hello dream come true! But really, I read about it in her first cookbook, Everyday Italian (a little less exciting than having dinner with her, but just as informational). She prepares salmon in a little tinfoil package or parchment paper, which keeps the fish moist and infuses whatever else you’ve included in the little bundle. Then, fast forward a few years… (5 maybe)… and I’m reading a wonderful book from Kathleen Flinn, Kitchen Counter Cooking School. If you are looking for a great book with loads of cooking techniques, food facts and a wonderful story about women in Seattle learning to cook, and let’s be honest – who isn’t?! Get this book. It’s a quick read and I’m still using some of the techniques in my kitchen; for example, Salmon en Papelle. She introduces a French spin to Giada’s preparation, by adding a few more ingredients and a dash of broth.
This is a base recipe, all you really need is fish, broth, herbs and shallot/onion; you can add/subtract anything. Make two bundles and bring it for lunch tomorrow or add to eggs or pasta the next day. Finally, I used a few slices of dried tomatoes – not to be confused with sundried tomatoes. The flavor is earthier and less sweet, but use what you have or what you can find.
4-6oz Salmon filet (also great with a light white fish such as snapper or halibut)
4 crimini mushrooms, quartered
¼ teaspoon fresh thyme and parsley
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried tomatoes (not in oil)
½ clove of garlic
1 (thin) slice of lemon
½ shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt/pepper
Splash of broth (chicken or vegetable)
Heat oven to 400*F; on a piece of tin foil (about 12” in length), pour the oil and place fish on top (skin side down). Season with salt/pepper then begin to curl up the sides of the foil to create a little boat. Now add the rest of the ingredients, bring the two long pieces together and roll up the sides. You want it to be well sealed so the fish can steam. Bake for 15 minutes. Once it’s done, opening the little package is a treat to the senses. Pour the broth over some pilaf and serve with balsamic glazed carrots.