How I wish Saturday has more than 24 hours!
With a full 5 workday-week, Saturday is considered my least demanding day of the week. It’s the ONLY day of the week when I could dilly-dally a wee bit more and do some shopping, as shops are closed on a Sunday whilst Monday through Friday are just out of the question *sigh*
With Saturday being my no-pressure day, I often opt to prepare hassle-free meals. Nope, no instant meals BUT meals cooked from scratch with fresh and/or frozen-fresh ingredients!
En papillote. That’s French meaning “in parchment”. This is one of my favourite methods of cooking a QUICK meal – simple, fast and fresh! As you can tell, I’m so venturing into shortcuts and time-saving beelines. LOL!
A parchment paper is typically used for this method of cooking. Other alternatives are using aluminium foil or paper bag. Since I ran out of parchment paper, I resorted to using aluminium foil. Yup, the bright and shiny roll of ‘”metallic paper” :-)
Here’s how I made my Bright and Shiny Parcel in less than 1 hour, from prepping to serving. This is one of my favourite executions. So easy that I’m almost ashamed to have this post published *blush*
- 4 pieces frozen salmon (thawing not necessary)
- 1 big red onion, sliced thinly
- 4 cm root ginger, sliced thinly
- 4 stalks spring onions, washed and cut in 4 cm length
- 1 medium-sized carrot, julienned
- 2 stalks lemon grass, cut on the bias and not too thin
Seasoning ingredients –
- Shaoxing wine, or any type of white wine (if not using, use water)
- Sesame oil
- Coarse sea salt
- Freshly milled black pepper
- A pinch of fish stock cube
- Cherry tomatoes
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Pre-heat oven to 200 deg C
- Cut 4 big sheets of heavy-duty aluminium foil and then another 2 sheets. Cut the 2 sheets in half and place each half on the centre of each big sheet of foil
- On each foil, assemble the bottom layer with onion, ginger, spring onion, carrot and lemon grass, leaving some for the top layer towards the end. Sprinkle some salt and pepper
- Place the salmon on the bed of herbs and continue laying the top layer with the leftover onion, ginger, spring onion, carrot and lemon grass. Finally top it off with some chives , freshly milled black pepper and a pinch of fish stock cube
- Start folding the aluminium foil the way you feel would secure the fish in while baking the parcel in the oven. Before the foil is completely sealed, add some liquid, ie wine or water and drizzles of sesame oil
- Bake for 32 to 38 minutes (Note: timing depends very much on the type of oven you own)
I know, I know… Don’t use aluminium foil to store foods that are high in acids! That’s the reason why I included the lemon wedge and cherry tomatoes right after the salmon’s done and out of the oven and right before serving ;-)
- It is best to consume the baked salmon the day it is served in the foil – fresh! If kept too long in the foil (eg refrigerated for a few days), small amounts of aluminium may migrate into the food, creating a metallic taste in the food. They are said to be not harmful, but are certainly not appetizing. I never have this problem (touch wood), because I tend to prepare the right amount of parcels for each serving. They never last after one sitting :-D
- I used frozen salmon which took a longer baking time. If fresh salmon is used, the baking time is definitely not 32 – 38 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a metal skewer or fork into the salmon. It is done as it begins to flake. Always check for doneness at the minimum baking time.
Life is too short to waste too much time on one big thing, when you can do wonders with many little things!