Another day, another cooking term borrowed from the French. Today we will be taking a look at one of my favorite ways to cook fish. I’m especially partial to this method when I want to eat well, make it look like I spent more time in the kitchen than I actually did and generally just being lazy. This should only take a few minutes to put together but tastes and looks like a lot of time was spent creating the dish. This post won’t be diving into all things salmon (that’s a whole other post), instead we’ll be focusing on the method of preparation.
En papi-what? Yeah, it’s my first time reading those words as well. As I was doing some research for this post, I came across this very fancy sounding term for cooking food in a pouch in an oven. Literally, en papillote means “in parchment” in French. Cooking en papillote refers to cooking food (chicken, fish or veggies) in a pouch made out of parchment paper, aluminum foil or even a paper bag. Basically, everything is sealed up tight within the bag and by placing the pouch in an oven, your food is being steam-baked which produces an extremely tender and mouthwatering final product. A quick side note: tamales are cooked in this same method except instead of using a man-made encasement, they use corn husks to surround the masa. The great part about cooking en papillote is that each person can make modifications to their own dish since each serving can be individually wrapped making this a great option for those who cook for picky eaters!
It’s All So Simple
Seriously, this is one of the most dead simple ways to cook making it a great option for a lazy Sunday. Here is the whole process from start to finish: buy food, season food, wrap up food, put food in oven. In case you wanted a little more detail, keep on reading. First things first, go ahead and preheat your oven to 400° and let your fish sit out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before starting.
Once this is done, go ahead and put your pouch on a cookie sheet and put in the oven. Set your timer for 10 minutes (20 minutes total cook time) and then turn your attention to your side dish(es). I decided on some asparagus so let’s take a quick peek at how I make my spears.
Not pictured: I also cut up some onions and a bell pepper and added it to the veggie mix. These take a bit longer to cook (30 minutes) so I put them in first, before the salmon.
Now that everything is done cooking, let’s put the final touches on an easy dinner.
Lessons Learned: Or What I’d Do Differently Next Time
Overall, I’d give this dish a solid A. I’m not sure I would change a thing when cooking next time because this recipe is so dead simple it’s hard to screw it up. About the only thing I would change is to remember to squeeze the extra lemon I had set aside on top of the salmon after plating it. Other than that, this turned out pretty close to perfect. For those wondering, here is a condensed version of this awesome recipe:
- A heaping of dill
- 2 lemons
- Salmon Fillet - 1 lb. or so
- Set out the salmon and preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Salt & Pepper the salmon
- Add sliced lemons and dill on top of salmon
- Follow above photos to wrap up your salmon in a foil pouch
- Place pouch on a baking sheet and put into the oven for 20 minutes
- Take out and let rest for 2-3 minutes
- Cut open pouch and serve hot