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Spring Salmon en Papillote
Diabetic Living Magazine
“Cooking in paper—en papillote—may seem too difficult and fancy to incorporate into your weeknight routine, but it's actually very easy and saves on cleanup! In this dinner recipe, use either halibut or salmon fillets with the vegetables and seasonings called for. Just a tablespoon of water in each packet will produce enough steam to cook everything inside to perfection.”
4 (6 ounce) fresh skinless halibut or salmon fillets, 1 inch thick
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only
12 ounces tiny new red potatoes, cut into ⅛-inch slices
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
4 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons water
¼ cup snipped fresh chives
4 lemon wedges
1Place one oven rack in upper third and one rack in lower-middle positions (see Tip). Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut four 16-inch sheets of parchment paper.
2Rinse fish; pat dry. Cut leek in half lengthwise; rinse well. Cut into thin bite-size strips. Divide potatoes among parchment sheets, layering slightly above center. Top with asparagus, leek, and fish (see Tip).
3Spread each fish fillet with 1 teaspoon mustard and sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon water around each mound.
4Fold bottom of parchment sheets over vegetables and fish to cover. Starting from the bottom, fold edges of parchment together, making small overlapping pleats every inch or so to create half-moon-shape packets (see Tip). Transfer packets to two baking sheets.
5Bake on separate oven racks 20 minutes or until packets are puffed, switching racks halfway through (see Tip). Carefully open packets to release steam. Sprinkle fish with chives and serve with lemon wedges.
Tips: Setting one rack to the lower-middle position encourages concentration of the liquid released from the vegetables. This gives the meal more flavor.
Arranging heartier vegetables (potatoes) on the bottom and quicker-cooking vegetables (asparagus) on top ensures even cooking.
Make small folds to ensure the packets stay closed so they will contain the steam. If they fail to hold the steam, the fish and vegetables will not cook properly.
To check doneness, carefully open one packet at a seam and use a fork to check the fish—it should flake easily. Also use the fork to pierce the potatoes to make sure they're tender. Open the packets right after they come out of the oven to ensure the fish doesn't get overcooked.