Audrey is a cook who loves creating new flavors by tweaking recipes to include healthier ingredients.
Cooking in Parchment Paper
I've always loved foods prepared with parchment paper because it's a unique way to cook which retains the food's moistness and "shape." It also is a great shortcut when it comes to clean up.
Also, it's always a neat way to serve something, especially fish in this author's opinion. Presentation wise, it just gives it a little extra pop.
On a recent trip to the supermarket though, I discovered something new on the shelves and couldn't wait to give them a try: parchment cooking bags.
I usually use parchment paper to line cookie pans and in a lot of different ways in the kitchen when preparing food, but I thought the idea of a parchment bag was just too cool to pass up.
I discovered that preparing salmon this way was a snap and it did the job and then some. I also started exploring other foods that you can use the PaperChef parchment cooking bags for and was pleased to find many recipes on their website.
I now have many more ideas for using my parchment bags, whether it's to cook salmon or other fish, chicken, desserts, and even popcorn!
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
Serves 4, approximately 5 ounces of salmon
- 4 fillets salmon, approximately 5 ounces each
- dash of tequila, (substitute wine or vermouth)
- carrots match-stick cut, 1 per serving
- zucchini match-stick cut, 1/2-1 per serving
- sweet onions 1 small, slivered
- 4 tablespoons nonfat sour cream, (substitute Greek yogurt)
- juice and pulp 1 fresh lemon
- Cooking spray or olive oil
- pinch kosher salt
- fresh basil leaves
- dash low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 parchment bags
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set out large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
- Cut veggies into small strips. Spray nonstick pan or wok with cooking spray or use olive oil. Cook carrots and zucchini for a few minutes just to tenderize a bit. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Sweat onions for a few minutes just until fragant. Remove and set aside.
- Mix together juice and pulp of lemon and sour cream until creamy and smooth. Add splash of low-sodium soy sauce.
- Wash and dry leaves of basil: 1 per fillet if large leaves.
- Place half of veggies into parchment bag. Place sweated onions on top of the vegetables. Place the salmon on top of the onions. Place 2 fish fillets inside each bag.
- Divide sour cream in dollop on each of 4 salmon fillets. Top each salmon fillet with basil leaf.
- Seal end of parchment bag by folding over 2 or 3 times on the open end. Place 2 bags on cookie sheet or jelly roll pan and put in the oven. Bake 10-15 minutes or until fragrant.
- Let bags sit for 5 minutes and open. Serve with a green salad or brown rice pillaf.
These parchment bags are by PaperChef.
Prepare veggies. Think about substituting other vegetables as they're available or in season.
Cook the onions in cooking spray or a dab of olive oil just until fragrant.
Combine the sour cream (or Greek yogurt) with the pulp and juice of one lemon. Mix thoroughly to form the lemon sauce.
Add vegetables to the parchment bag.
Place 2 salmon fillets on top of half of the precooked vegetables.
Sprinkle with just a dash of tequila (or substitute dry or sweet vermouth, vodka, or white wine).
Divide the lemon sauce equally between the 2 bags and 4 fillets. Put atop the salmon fillets.
Use fresh basil leaves to top the lemon sauce, or you can also add basil by topping with a chiffonade of basil.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes.
Enjoy! For a decorative look, cut the parchment bag with shears into shreds around the fish or tear in interesting patterns. Just folded back provides a neat "nesting" for the cooked fish.
Recipe for Parchment Bag Salmon
I actually adapted this recipe from the handout that came with the parchment bags by PaperChef. The original recipe was for a turbot fillet with cream of lemon sauce, but I changed it up to salmon fillets with cream of lemon sauce.
I also used tequila instead of white wine.
It was fantastic! Keep in mind that you can substitute ingredients sometimes and create something even better than the original recipe.
I left out the bell peppers and used nonfat sour cream rather than regular to cut the calories.
I also cut out the olive oil to sauté the vegetables and used cooking spray instead.
If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, don't forget how easy it is to flake salmon fillets that haven't been overcooked. Turn the flakes into a salmon loaf for another great meal.
How to Wrap in Parchment Paper the Harder Way
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on September 19, 2012:
Thanks, Rhonda--people are always giving me liquor and I don't ever drink the hard stuff--or hardly ever--and then if someone is making it because I don't know how to mix drinks~ So this is a great way (for me) to make use of all that liquor~ I personally love vermouth with fish best but the tequila was actually very good~ Glad you liked the article~
toknowinfo on September 19, 2012:
Thanks for this great tip. I have only used parchment paper to bake cookies. It makes cleanup a snap, and keeps the cookies true to their form. I never thought of something like this. Thanks for the great tips. I also never thought of using tequila. I don't usually cook my fish in wine or liquor, but I usually use it for my meat and chicken. So thanks again for another tip I will try. Voted up and beautiful, interesting, and useful.
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on September 11, 2012:
Thanks, Virginia - it was so easy and cleanup was a snap~~ I love parchment cooking but I hate cutting out shapes and folding the paper, etc. because it seemed like it always leaked somewhere~ This was just too easy for anyone to use....and in a quick pinch now I know I can throw anything in the bag and have a flavorful nonmessy meal~~I only hope I don't find out the bags are treated in something and then have to give them up!
Virginia Kearney from United States on September 10, 2012:
Wow, another great way to cook fish. I love this and will have to try it soon. I haven't seen those bags but I always have parchment around. Chinese cooking does things steamed in parchment a lot. When we were eating in China we would always get these wonderful packets. I also love the way that you give a recipe but also suggest ways to vary it. I hardly ever have all the ingredients for a recipe on hand, so I'm always doing that anyway! Voted up and pinned.
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on September 09, 2012:
Super Rochelle--and it'll work with vermouth--I use that all the time usually with my salmon but just thought what the heck...I'll give it a nudge with it and see how it tastes. I was super surprised that BASIL actually complemented this very well~ Enjoy--I'm hooked on those little bags!!!
Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on September 09, 2012:
This sounds brilliant! I usually cook salmon 2 or 3 times a month.
Now I have to get some Tequila. I'll bet that adds a very tasty touch. I usually keep a little vermouth on hand just for chicken recipes. That slightly herbal flavor goes well in certain recipes-- and I rarely have white wine on hand.
I do use parchment paper-- mostly for cookies. Gotta find me some of those bags, so I can try this.