In my book on Bulgarian national cuisine, there is a recipe for feta cheese baked in paper. I've always found it rather intriguing, but never tried it and with Lundulph being anti-cheese, chances are I won't try it out ever.
But it got me thinking - why not bake something else in paper? And so, when I managed to get hold of a lovely and large salmon fillet the other day, I thought it would be the perfect thing to try out. It also turned out to be fairly quick to make, so we ended up with a relatively festive mid-week dinner as a bonus.
250 g waxy potatoes
100 g carrots
100 g French beans
30 g butter
salt and pepper
3 - 4 tbsp piri-piri marinade (shop bought)
400 g skinless salmon fillet
baking paper large enough to wrap the salmon into a parcel
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Place an oven-safe dish inside to heat up.
- Prepare the sheet of baking paper by spreading half of the piri-piri marinade in the middle.
- Place the salmon fillet over the marinade and move it around a little, so that the bottom side gets coated, then brush the remaining marinade on the top side.
- Wrap the paper around the salmon into a tight parcel. If you feel inclined use a second paper to make sure it's securely wrapped. Then place in the middle of the oven and let bake for 30 - 35 minutes.
- In the mean time, prepare the vegetables. If necessary peel and wash the potatoes, then steam until cooked.
- Peel and cut the carrots into sticks, trim and wash the French beans. Steam first the carrots, and add the French beans to the steam pot for the last five minutes.
- Heat up a large frying pan, melt the butter and get it bubbling, then fry off the potatoes, carrots and French beans for a few minutes just to give them a bit of colour, while stirring often. It's easier to do the potatoes separately from the carrots and beans. Season with salt and pepper while sautéing.
- Transfer the sautéed vegetables to the pre-heated dish and keep warm until the salmon is ready. Keep the remaining butter in the pan for serving.
- When the salmon is ready, serve immediately with potatoes, carrots and French beans. Drizzle some of the butter over the vegetables for extra flavour.
I think using baking paper rather than metal foil does make a difference in the taste, especially since I suspect the metal may well react with the marinade. A downside perhaps is that baking paper doesn't conduct heat as well as a metal foil would, so a longer baking time is required. I was hoping 20 minutes would be enough, but a careful look inside the salmon parcel revealed that it wasn't and I wrapped it back up and continued baking for another 15 minutes.
We had a fancy and very nice wine with our dinner too,
and the whole thing was quite a success. I particularly liked the French beans, I'd picked them a couple of days earlier from our local Pick-Your-Own. In fact I gobbled up the remaining beans instead of dessert...