French Fridays with Dorie
Summer is finally here which means nobody I know has any time for anything. I got home at 8:30PM tonight and I certainly didn’t have time to cook a French dinner (or even a “French” dinner.) But hey, its Thursday and I started this French Friday w Dorie project and even though I never invited hundreds of bloggers to depend on me each week (only 10 of you read this blog) I still feel a small sense of obligation to the cause. If not to my fellow Doristas then to my husband who prefers to eat actual food for dinner each night. (Although we do have a box of eggs and a jar of protein powder for emergencies.)
It appears our French Fridays with Dorie “leaders” don’t have time either as they have all but abandoned us Doristas as evidenced by their apparant lack of having the unimaginably brief 10 seconds required to post a link enabling us to share our efforts with each other. See? Time is now officially scarce.
At this writing it has been one week since Beet Salad day and still no “Leae Your Link” post for that assignment. While Doristas around the world were slaving away on beets and salmon our leaders were out playing frisbee at the beach or perhaps picnicking. I do know that if they don’t have the 10 seconds required to post each week they certainly don’t have the 15 minutes necessary to make this remarkably simple and surprisingly elegant dinner.
Their loss while I actually found the time!
“Lack of time” is the theme for this week’s submission. So I’m going to run with it because running with it is what I do here at Sis Boom blog. This Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote is perfect when time is of concern and attention to detail is not. Not only does it take less than 5 minutes to prepare but it is also so brain-dead simple even a FFwD blog leader could do it. That is, if they had the time.
I didn’t even have the extra minute to worry about the lighting, set up a decent photo or make a nice plate of it but it hardly matters. Only 10 people read this blog anyway and while I love each and every one of you , I really didn’t have the time to get home and cook before the sunset.
For those reading without enough time to Google it for yourself (hi Mom!) “ en papillote ” means “in parchment”. To my view it looks as if Dorie didn’t have enough time to go buy actual parchment so instead calls for foil which probably works better with a very hot oven allowing it to steam more quickly since the steam can’t escape the less tight folds of parchment.
Who knew this method was even French? I used to cook like as a Boy Scout. Only back then we used an awful unnatural camping cooking oil and we never had fresh herbs packed with us. (Something I would now take great delight in bringing with me on a backpacking trip.) We never had a hot enough cooking fire either but somehow managed even though that skinny river trout never tasted as good as this.
So the verdict is: I loved it. I’d make this one even if I had more time and I’ll make it again when I don’t have any more time. Any time, even no time, is a good time for this one.
Oh, and Dorista Pubahs, I know I’m being a bit snarky here but it is only because I will be quite sad if you have put together this fine little cooking group only to abandon us for lack of time. I would hate to think that Berry Terrine is our last assignment.
Besides, what would I do with all the extra time?
Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote
This is what you will need:
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (more to taste)
- 4 grape tomatoes
- About 6 basil leaves
- One 5-ounce filet of salmon (skinless or not)
- 1/4 lemon
- 1/2 spring onion or 1 scallion (optional), finely sliced
- 1 sprig thyme
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
This is how you make it:
- Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and have a baking sheet at hand. Cut a piece of foil that is large enough for you to lay out the ingredients, lift up the edges of the foil and seal the packet with an inch or two of air space above the fish.
- If you want to "sear" the tomatoes, warm 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a small skillet, then saute the tomatoes just until their skins are wrinkled and bubbly, about 3 minutes.
- Working in the center of the piece of foil, make a bed of basil leaves, keeping 1 leaf aside. Sprinkle the leaves with a little salt and pepper, put the salmon over the leaves and season it with salt and pepper too. (If the salmon has skin, lay it skin-side against the basil.) Put the tomatoes on one side of the salmon and grate the lemon's zest over everything. If you're using the spring onion or scallion, scatter the pieces over the fish and tomatoes. Give the salmon a squirt of lemon juice, then cut two thin slices from the lemon and put them on top of the fish. Top with the last basil leaf and the sprig of thyme; moisten with olive oil.
- Seal the packet, making sure it's airtight and that there's puff space between the fish and the top of its cocoon. Put the packet on the baking sheet, slide the set-up into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, if you like your fish pink and slightly jiggly in the center (great for salmon); bake 2 minutes longer if you want your fish better done.
- You can either put the packet on a dinner plate and open it at the table, or open the packet in the kitchen and arrange the ingredients on a plate. If you plate the fish, you might want to finish the dish with a little minced basil or some snipped chives.