Usually when we have fish for dinner, I’m outside manning the grill. It’s southern California and for the most part, the good weather allows for grilling all year long. Well, last night was not included in the “weather permitting” category. We’re experiencing what they like to call weather with a week of rainstorms and so I decided to go with my favorite indoor method of cooking fish-in parchment.
Cooking in parchment is really simple and you really don’t even need a recipe. You simply put your fish in the center of some parchment, top it with herbs, or sliced onions or fennel, and a little liquid-like lemon or orange juice or white wine. Fold up the parchment, making sure it’s sealed all the way around, set it on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven. The parchment will puff up as the steam cooks the fish and before you know it, your “‘package” is ready to serve.
This recipe comes from and old issue of Olive magazine (February ’06)-a British publication that I love. This magazine frequently features recipes with Indian flavors and I think this topping is the perfect counterpoint to the rich tasting salmon.
Salmon about a pound or a little less
2 teaspoons butter (or olive oil)
1 small onion, very thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tomatoes diced (in summer of course go with fresh-last night I used about 4 canned plum tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon tandoori powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 cinnamon stick
2 slices lime
Cilantro-a handful, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the salmon on one half of a large sheet of parchment (or you can use foil) and set on a baking sheet.
Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the onion and garlic and saute on low heat until the onion is softened. Add the tomatoes, a pinch of salt, garam masala, tandoori powder, bay leaf, chili and cinnamon stick. Cover and cook on very low heat for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and cinnamon.
Spoon the mixture over the salmon and top with lime slices and cilantro. Cover with the other side of the parchment and wrap tightly at the edges. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Careful when you open your “package” as the steam will escape! Serves: 2