Salmon en Papillote

Main Dishes, Recipes

En papillote… sounds awfully fancy, doesn’t it? French for “in parchment,” this dish is exactly as it sounds – salmon fillets baked in a parchment pouch. It looks impressive for its simplicity of preparation, and best of all, the parchment packaging makes cleanup a breeze (yes, I know I sound like a Reynold’s foil commercial).

Quick & easy baked salmon

Quick & easy baked salmon en papillote

I think salmon and lemon are a classic combination, so why fix what isn’t broken? I went extra simple (only 4 ingredients!) with fresh lemon, butter, and a lemon pepper blend, but you could easily spruce this up with some fresh or dried dill, fresh lemon zest, or even a splash of white wine for flavor and moisture.

Ingredients:

2 fillets of salmon, skin-on, about 3-4 oz per fillet

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, sliced into two thin pats

1 lemon

1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning blend (or salt & pepper to taste)

Parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Tear out two large squares of parchment paper, about as long as the width of the roll. Arrange the squares like a compass, so that one of the points (i.e. the “southern” point) is pointing toward you. If desired, rinse the fillets and pat dry with a paper towel. Place each fillet skin side down on its own square of parchment, a bit south of the center.

Step 1: Cleaned fillet sprinkled with lemon pepper

Step 1: Cleaned fillet sprinkled with lemon pepper

Season with lemon pepper seasoning blend. If the blend does not include salt, sprinkle a bit on the fillet as well.

Step 2: Butter!

Step 2: Butter!

Top each fillet with a small pat of butter, for moisture and flavor.

Step 3: Fresh Lemon!

Step 3: Fresh Lemon!

Cut two thick slices from the lemon and set aside the rest for later. Layer the lemon slice over the butter.

Now to make the iconic en papillote pouches. Fold the north corner down to the match the south corner and enclose the fillet. Starting from one side, either east or west, fold over the newly created folded edge in small, tight, acute-angled folds. Be sure the folds overlap, working your way around to create a rough circle or semi-circle.

Step 4: Fold and set on a baking sheet

Step 4: Fold and set on a baking sheet

Set the pouches onto a baking sheet and stick into the preheated oven. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. The fillets will be a bit firm to the touch when they are ready.

Part of the fun is opening it up like a present, so I like to plate my salmon en papillote straight out of the oven. Garnish with fresh wedges from the reserved lemon. Cut or tear open the packet and dinner is served!

Voila!

Voila!

Salmon en papillote is also a great fuss-free dish for dinner parties. The pouches can be assembled in advance and kept in the refrigerator until dinnertime. Each guest receives a pre-portioned dinner that’s simple and delicious! Serve alongside steamed vegetables (or pictured above: blanched broccoli florets) or a rice pilaf.

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4 thoughts on “Salmon en Papillote

  1. Yum! I like serving the whole parcel on the plate, it is a novelty I guess. But The Koala always unwraps his and ditches the parcel before eating. I am positive there is psychology behind it.

    1. M does too! He’s nearly perfected the art of sliding the parchment out from under the fish, but I love to unwrap it on my plate and eat right out of the “packaging”. Strange men we have…. ;)

      1. I think it must have something to do with bachelor days of eating food from packets. Possibly they like to pretend that packet food is not packet food. He likes to eat meat pies on a plate with a knife and fork whereas I will happily munch on a meat pie of a packet.

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