Monday, September 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

It’s all in the bag – cooking salmon en papillote

Food Healthy Salmon

This Dec. 2, 2013, photo shows salmon that has been baked in a bag with citrus, olive and chilies in Concord, N.H. The bag keeps the flavor and moisture trapped inside during cooking, allowing the juices from the fish and the other ingredients to mingle and become a wonderful sauce. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

By
From page B7 | January 08, 2014 |

Fish en papillote is the elegant-sounding name of a staple recipe of classic French cuisine. Translated into English, it becomes the much less elegant-sounding – “fish in a bag.” By any name, however, this method of baking fish is a smash.

Typically, the fish is combined with vegetables and herbs, some butter or oil, and often some wine. All of this is wrapped up in a piece of kitchen parchment and baked. The parchment keeps the flavor and moisture trapped inside during cooking, allowing the juices from the fish and the other ingredients to mingle and become a wonderful sauce.

And because the parchment is stick-resistant, the recipe requires very little fat. The small amount of oil in this recipe is there for taste and texture only.

In this recipe, the relatively few ingredients I’ve added to the salmon are in the service of the sauce. But let’s say you wanted to make a whole meal in a bag, sort of like a high-toned TV dinner. In that case, you could add some substantial vegetables, for example sauteed mushrooms, steamed cooked potato cubes, blanched broccoli or carrots.

If you do add vegetables, they’ll need to be pre-cooked. The denser vegetables – such as carrots and broccoli – simply won’t have time to get tender during the 10 to 12 minutes of cooking needed by the salmon. Similarly, if wetter veggies – such as mushrooms and spinach – aren’t pre-cooked, they’ll release too much liquid in the packet and water down the sauce.

The only tricky part about cooking en papillote is that you can’t see when the fish is done. If you slice open the bag, you risk losing some of the delicious sauce that’s coming together. My solution is to start with the basic rule of baking fish: In a 400 F oven, give it 10 minutes of cooking time for every inch of thickness.

When I’m ready to test whether the fish is done, I stick a very sharp thin knife right through the parchment and down through the fish. No or little resistance? The fish is done. Significant resistance? Bake it for a few more minutes. And by the way, this test works well regardless of how you cook the fish.

Kitchen parchment – or even pre-made parchment paper bags – is widely available in the foil and plastic wrap aisle. And by the way, it’s also great for lining baking sheets when making cookies.

This recipe includes instructions on how to fold the paper to make a bag yourself, but if you can find the pre-made ones, grab them. I experimented with a pre-made bag while testing this recipe and discovered that it worked perfectly well. You just layer all the ingredients in the bag, fold the bottom under to seal the package, and bake away.

The beauty of this dish, besides its deliciousness, is that it requires very little preparation and cooks in no time at all. I invite you to take this concept and run with it, making new recipes based on whichever fish and vegetables are in season. And by the way, much as I love wild salmon, it isn’t always in season. So check for sustainably raised farmed salmon, fresh or frozen.

SALMON BAKED IN A BAG WITH CITRUS, OLIVES AND CHILIES

Start to finish: 35 minutes

Servings: 4

1 small orange

1 lemon

Four skinless 6-ounce center cut salmon fillet pieces

¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup pitted and chopped olives, preferably oil-cured

½ serrano chili, thinly sliced crosswise

Heat the oven to 400 F.

Cut the orange and lemon in half crosswise. Thinly slice ½ of the orange and ½ of the lemon into thin slices. Juice the remaining halves of both fruits.

Set a 24-inch-long sheet of kitchen parchment on a baking sheet. Fold the sheet in half across the short side, then open the folded parchment (like a book), leaving one half of it on the baking sheet. Arrange about half of the orange and lemon slices in a single layer in the center of the parchment on the baking sheet.

Sprinkle half the rosemary over the citrus slices. Set the salmon over the rosemary, then sprinkle with salt, the citrus juices and oil. Top each piece of salmon with a quarter of the remaining rosemary and citrus slices.

Fold the second half of the parchment over the fish, then crimp and fold the edges together to create a sealed packet. Bake – on the sheet pan – on the oven’s middle shelf for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just cooked through (stick a paring knife through the parchment and salmon; it should move easily through the fish if done).

Cut open the parchment, discard the citrus slices from the top of the salmon, then place each piece on a serving plate. Spoon some of the olives, chilies, rosemary and juices over each piece.

Nutrition information per serving: 440 calories; 260 calories from fat (59 percent of total calories); 29 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 100 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 35 g protein; 490 mg sodium.

Sara Moulton was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years, and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows. She currently stars in public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and has written three cookbooks, including “Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.”

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Vaca Christian hits FM airwaves

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Hazmat crew responds to Fairfield after spill Sunday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

SBDC schedules free workshop for small businesses

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Cordelia Rotary to host Senior Center fall dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

CHP offers teen drivers class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Golf tourney to help uninsured children

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

Dixon Scottish Games return to Solano

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield teen scouts books

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Local governments schedule meetings

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Master Gardeners schedule annual plant exchange

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Il Fiorello Olive Oil Co. hold butchery class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
American music makes a sweet sound Sunday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Popeye’s seeks Fairfield site

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8, 10 Comments | Gallery

North Bay Pediatrics celebrates anniversary

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

 
Sutter Solano has new leader

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

‘Peter Pan’ earns Elly awards for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
.

US / World

Some California wells run dry amid drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
More drought forecast next year across West

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

32 structures destroyed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Melted glacier sends miles of mud down Mt. Shasta

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Crews cleaning fuel spill in San Francisco Bay

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Police say rifle carried by ambush suspect found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Gov. Brown signs clean-air vehicle legislation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
Feds censure local police, yet give lethal weapons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Del. authorities: Bus overturns, at least 1 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Sierra Leone concludes nationwide Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2016 may loom, but Jeb Bush is focused on business

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
China, US, India push world carbon emissions up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

New Afghan president, but vote totals kept secret

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA’s Maven explorer arrives at Mars after year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

North Korea powerful temptation for some Americans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Craig Ferguson plays it loose with new game show

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

‘Maze Runner’ races past ‘Tombstones’ with $32.5M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Pulse poll: Will the drought end this year?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Idealists made mess of 20th century

By Jack Batson | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

Thanks go out to Telstar Instruments

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Ned’s drinking is ruining our parents’ business, health

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

Horoscopes: Sept. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

 
Giants swept by Padres; fall 4 ½ behind Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanton leads Cardinals past 49ers 23-14

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Donaldson’s walk-off HR powers A’s past Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Penalty nixes Raiders rally, Patriots win 16-9

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Seahawks hold off Broncos 26-20 in overtime

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

NFL roundup: Cowboys erase 21-point deficit, beat Rams 34-31

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Armijo boys run to 2nd-place finish in Irvine

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Hamilton wins in Singapore, takes F1 title lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ex-Titans kicker Bironas killed in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hur pulls away for LPGA Tour win in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Logano wins at New Hampshire in 2nd Chase race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Business

 
Native Americans getting final settlement payments

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

5 ways to protect yourself from data breaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Dilbert Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7