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!
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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.
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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.