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Lemon Herb Salmon el Papillote? Who am I?
This is totally not something that I would not normally think to make because A) 90% of the time my family eats chicken, and B) Lemon Herb Salmon el Papillote - sounds like it would be better left to someone who is full-blown culinary genius status.
This recipe miracle came to me after an almost week long hiatus from the kitchen. No excuses, just laziness. When the moment came where my stash of make-ahead freezer meals ran out and I actually had to cook again (kids should only eat so much mac and cheese), I took to the internet and stared clicking through Healthy Living Made Simple. It's my go to online magazine when I need inspiration to channel my inner fresh, clean-eating, dinner-making self.
So like I said, this would never be something that I would come up with all on my own, but the "SuperFood Spotlight" in HLMS magazine was salmon, and once I read about all the nutritional benefits, it took me about .3 seconds to decide that it most definitely needs to make a more frequent appearance on our dinner table. So, being the "all or nothing" type person that I am (it's a blessing and a curse), I headed straight to Sam's Club and STOCKED up on fresh salmon (my freezer is now packed with the best of intentions?).
I'm going to let you in on a secret, this dish is actually simple. When I say simple, I mean REALLY simple.
Papillote is just a fancy way (aka French) of saying cooked in parchment (aka no dishes).
Yep, a simple healthy meal that comes together in 30 minutes, but is impressive enough to give the illusion that you spent the afternoon slaving away in the kitchen. It there anything better?
The ingredients are customizable, don't like onions... take em out, grocery out of grape tomatoes... use regular. You get the idea. I was able to find everything that I needed at Sam's Club (+ enough salmon to last us until Christmas). You guys, this recipe is full of the good stuff. Few recipes that you make are going to pack the nutritional punch that this one does. You've got salmon, loaded with protein and omega 3's and broccoli, a low calorie food full of fiber as your base. Throw in some citrusy lemon, thin sliced onions, grape tomatoes, fresh herbs, just the right amount of garlic and you are done. Since the ingredients are all sealed up in the parchment packets they steam cook in their own flavorful liquids, the pure flavors mingle with one another and create a delicious and aromatic meal.
Once all the ingredients have been prepped, there really isn't much to throwing the packets together. I've laid it all out for you.
Folding the packets up is simple. Explaining how to fold the packets up bis blog post without step-by-step visual, not so much. Here's a pic of the finished product, but if you go to the helpful hints section at the bottom of this post you will find a link to an awesome How-To video?.
Time Saving Tips and Tricks
Prep: These packets come together really quickly, especially if you do a bit of prep work. I like to go ahead and cut out my "parchment hearts," and chop/slice my herbs and veggies. When it's time for dinner, all that's left to do is assemble and bake.
Make Ahead: You can fully assemble the packets ahead of time if desired. Follow recipe directions, but don't bake! Instead, store them in the fridge for up to 2 days. When you are ready to serve, heat the oven to 450 and bake for 10 minutes. Dinner done.
- Parchment Paper
- ½ tsp. rosemary
- ½ tsp. thyme
- 1 TBS butter, softened
- 2 6 oz. salmon fillets (seasoned with salt and pepper)
- 2 cups brocoli florets (or brocolini)
- ½ purple onion, thinly sliced
- 18-20 grape tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- Cut two 18 inches long by 15 inches wide pieces of parchment paper. Fold the long side in half and cut the paper into a heart shape (think valentine's day card in elementary school).
- In a small bowl, combine butter, rosemary, thyme and a pinch of lemon zest. Use a fork to mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Place butter/herb mixture in the fridge to harden.
- To assemble your papillote packets, layer broccoli, onions, tomatoes and salmon (don't forget to season with salt and pepper), Top each piece of salmon with half of the lemon zest, green onions, and sliced garlic.
- Remove butter from the freezer and place half in the middle of each piece of salmon.
- Fold the other half of the parchment paper over the fish and vegetables. Starting at one corner, tightly crimp the edges of the paper to seal it.
- Place the pouches on a sheet pan and bake at 450 degrees for 9-10 minutes. The parchment paper will puff up slightly when baking and turn brown in color. Transfer cooked punches to a plate for serving. Cut open carefully with scissors and serve with a lemon wedge.
- When you cut your "parchment paper heart" I have found that bigger is better. You want to leave yourself plenty of room to crimp the edges and ensure that the parchment envelopes are well sealed so that steam doesn't escape.
- Slicing onions is bad enough, but slicing them thin ?.. I used a mandolin for the onions and the garlic to make it less painful on the eyes!
- New to cooking En Papillote? If yes, CLICK HERE for a helpful how-to session on how to fold the parchment paper packets.
Looking for more healthy make ahead dinners? Check out Simply Sissom’s Main Meals Board on Pinterest. New pins are added daily from my favorite bloggers from around the web!
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