An Ode to Parchment (Spanish Salmon atop Cruciferous Vegetables with Bacon <B) 

Parchment

Featherlite and crisp

You are just as you should be

You cradle my bread

You release it with ease

You fold with care

You look good in twine

You lay like a lady on cookie sheets and plates

And you are as versatile as you are lovely

Parchment, I’m so grateful you’re mine

❤ I really love parchment paper, y’all. IMO, it’s the most handy of the wrapping things a kitchen has to offer (you know, between foil, glad wrap etc.) It bakes. It’s great for portioning meats and veggies. It can be used to make candies, cookies, and quick breads without any mess to clean up. It can be used as last minute gift wrap!

I love parchment.

Moving on: I’ve never actually been to Spain. Based on what I know about the whitewashed, technicolor country– I feel like I’d thrive there.

World cuisine played a huge role in my upbringing. One could say my first  Geography class was taught to me in the kitchen. From an early age– I was drawn to all things West of the Pacific. Mediterranean style cooking, in particular, mystified me. It was at the same time concise and abstract– playing like a finely tuned symphony of old world technique and “ahhhfuhgeddaboudit” attitude. Don’t get me wrong,  If you don’t have flour (be it gluten free or not) you’re not making pasta while on the contrary– if you don’t have anchovies, you can add capers. It’s science and it’s art– finger painting and math. What’s more beautiful than that?
As I began exploring the kitchen as an adult– I quickly learned it was impossible to improvise a classic dish without having established which ingredients or techniques were necessary to its composition vs. what could be modified or replaced. Each component plays a part, yes, but some are more vital than others. For example– What makes porridge “porridge”? Let’s see– you’ll need grains, seeds, or oats, cooking liquid, a pot, a heating element, and a spoon. once everything is in the pot, you turn it to simmer and stir the contents intermittently until a magnificent mush has appeared! With that basic formula, you’re able to produce an array of comforting meals not limited to but including; lemongrass coconut congee with ginger chicken , cinnamon apple oatmeal with vanilla bean creme, and caccio y pepe risotto with wilted greens. It’s incredible, really. You learn a formula, find a flavor to explore, and then expand. Salmon en papillote is one such formula– and it utilizes one of my most favorite (and necessary) kitchen essentials: parchment paper!

Traditionally a french dish,  Salmon en papillote (meaning paper in French) entails cooking salmon in paper (papillote!) with herbs, spices, and fat. Historically this would mean taking a piece of salmon (seasoned with salt and pepper) placing it atop a piece  of parchment paper– roughly the size of a baking dish. Then topping it with lemon, butter, and herbs; think fresh dill, parsley, sage. Next, you’d fold the parchment up and around the fish, securing it with twine or not, and bake it at 375 for 15-20 minutes. The bag acts as a vessel to perfectly steam bake the fish. Also- a time saving dish- You’re seasoning the fish and making a sauce all at once. This technique produces a quick and elegant meal. Unwrap it tableside, and prepare a visual feast followed by olfactory overload– and it only took you 25 minutes! (Dannnnnnng)

Try the aforementioned a few times– It’s truly foolproof

Here is another one for when you’re ready to party.

Spanish Salmon atop Cruciferous Vegetables with Bacon <B

tools:

Parchment paper ❤ ❤ ❤

baking tray

small mixing bowl

large mixing bowl

ingredients:

wild caught salmon filet, preferably sockeye

1 cup frozen cauliflower

1 cup frozen broccoli

3 tablespoons avocado oil

1 tablespoon cumin + 1 teaspoon

1 tablespoon paprika + 1 teaspoon

2 teaspoons Jacobsen Sea Co. sea salt + 1/2 teaspoon

6-8 scallions, chopped

2 pieces of extra crispy baked bacon, no sugar added, uncured, such as Pederson’s

1 inch of a jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and minced

chopped cilantro

lime wedges

1 tsp EVOO

1 tablespoon grass fed butter (such as Vital Farms) at room temp

extra herbs — for garnish

extra jalapeno– for garnish

what to do:

  1. pre-heat the oven to 375
  2. cut the parchment paper into 2– 24 inch sheets and lay them one on top of the other.
  3. steam the broccoli and cauliflower until almost entirely defrosted (internal temp should feel cool to the touch).
  4. place the cruciferous vegetables into the mixing bowl. Toss with avocado oil, cumin, paprika, and sea salt.
  5. place towards the center back half of the parchment.
  6. place a layer of bacon and herbs over the veggies.
  7. place the salmon skin side down in the mixing bowl and rub to distribute remaining spice blend onto skin. Place atop bacon and herbs.
  8. mix EVOO and butter in small mixing bowl until smooth. Add in cumin, paprika, green onion, cilantro, and sea salt. Spread over salmon.
  9.  garnish with remaining bacon and herbs.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on preferred done-ness.

to serve:

lime wedges

fresh green onion

fresh cilantro

fresh jalapeno

topo chico

green salad

Happy wellbein   g ❤

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