Growing up, we ate a lot of seafood. Fish, shrimp, oysters, crawfish, clams, mussels, anything. If it came from the sea, we ate it. I remember my mom making me her little sous chef in the kitchen. She'd pull a little step stool in front of the sink and I would peel pounds and pounds of shrimp until my fingers were red and raw. To this day, every time I peel shrimp I think of child labor (jokes!). I really did enjoy it though. I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty and I can peel crustaceans with a quickness!
She did not however teach me how to handle fish. Fish is a tricky thing. It can become overcooked and dry, rubbery or fishy. Then there's that whole fish skin thing. Do I take it off or leave it on? It's a smelly, slimy and an altogether finicky creature. Then I found this recipe. The miracle of all miracles! Your salmon will come out moist and tender AND you have an added bonus of a side vegetable all in one step. If you play your cards right, you might not even have to wash a pan. You see, the salmon fillet and the green beans are all packaged up in a neat little bundle of parchment paper. They steam together and get infused with lemony goodness. En papillote is, quite simply, French for "in paper."
I swear, you can have this fully cooked, gourmet meal on your table in less than 30 minutes. Even if you you've never cooked a thing in your life. If that's the case we'll round it up to 35 minutes, it's really that easy.
Salmon en Papillote with Haricots Verts
- 2 salmon fillets (about 6-8 oz each)
- haricots verts (french green beans), approximately 1/2 pound
- 2 lemons, 1 sliced thinly
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
STEP 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl toss the green beans with olive oil. I used about 1 tablespoon. Then sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, toss to thoroughly coat.
STEP 2: Squeeze half a lemon over each of the salmon fillets, both sides. Sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper.
STEP 3: Cut a piece of parchment large enough to be able to wrap around your bundle of veggies and fish. Place a handful of green beans in the center of your parchment, place salmon on top. Place a layer of thin lemon slices on top.
STEP 4: Fold the paper over the salmon, twist the ends (like a candy wrapper!) and tuck under.
NOTE: Though not pictured, I flipped the seam side down so that it is thoroughly sealed and no steam escapes and then I tucked the ends underneath. Then place on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any wayward drips.
STEP 5: Bake 20 minutes. Carefully open packet, beware hot steam! Serve with extra lemon wedges.
Voila! A super simple dinner for two. Simple, healthy and delicious.