I wanted something light and easy for Monday dinner, and adapted an online recipe to make it a complete meal in a bag. Below is the recipe for four people, but you can just half it for a dinner for two.
Salmon en Papillote with Potatoes and Leek
4 salmon fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each
1 leek, white part sliced thin and well washed
5-6 red potatoes
Dry white wine
1 bunch chervil or other fresh herb, chopped (optional)
Unsalted butter, melted
♥ Wash, scrub and then par-boil the potatoes until soft, around 15 minutes. Drain and then slice into thin pieces.
♥ Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Now prepare one parchment parcel for each salmon fillet. Cut off a large section of parchment paper (double the length of the salmon fillet). Lay a bed of sliced potatoes in the middle of the parchment, then add two small dots of butter. Place the fillet on top of the potatoes, and place a handful of leeks next to it. Drizzle each piece of fish fish with 2 tbsp wine and olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chopped herbs.
♥ Brush edges of parchment paper with melted butter, fold paper to enclose fish, and make small overlapping folds to seal the edges. The heated liquid trapped in the bag is essentially steaming the veggies and the fish, so be sure each fold overlaps the one before it so that there are no openings, or else the fish won’t cook properly.
♥ Put packages on a baking sheet, and bake until paper is puffed and brown, about 10 (still pink in the middle) to 15 minutes (cooked thoroughly).
This dish takes only 20 minutes to prepare and 10-15 minutes to cook, with minimal washing up! It’s tasty, nutritional fare and all the ingredients are available at most regular supermarkets, so it’s a really easy, quick meal for a weekday evening.
Cooking in this way also allows all the wonderful cooking juices to collect in the bottom of the bag, so you can soak it all up with a nice piece of baguette. I bought my baguette from Boulangerie Bistronomique yesterday, an awesome new bakery in Kennedy Town, opened by David Lai and operated by a young, dynamic chef and his apprentice.
If you’d like to do an even healthier version of this dish, use a white fish instead of salmon, omit the wine and the butter, and season with more fresh herbs for extra flavour.