Salmon En Papillote with Julienned Vegetables

March 28th, 2013

I have been in a cooking funk lately.  Nothing I have made has been blog worthy.  I just burned some honey glazed pancetta that was supposed to go on a salad.  Other dishes that I have made were just plain boring.  We are back in Lake Lure.  The weather is cold and windy and the cottage is in need of all kinds of fluffing and repairs.  Squirrels chewed the wires to the steam bath and made themselves a nest under the tub.  David was looking forward to satisfying his Finnish blood with a hot steam bath and was dismayed to discover what the critters had done.  They even feathered their nest with paint brushes from the basement.  I guess they were planning on remodeling.   We are planning on evicting them.  So when dinner time rolled around last night, I was in no mood to get creative with the salmon.  David said “Have you ever blogged about my salmon cooked in parchment paper?”  Needless to say, I was more than happy to turn the kitchen over to him while I snapped the pictures.

Here are the main ingredients.  It is important that the vegetables you use are sliced thinly because the salmon cooks for only 15 minutes.  You can use what you have.  I had carrots, peppers, onions and some cooked baby broccoli from another meal.  You could also use thinly sliced broccoli, scallions, snow peas or asparagus.

David is proud of this fillet knife that he got at an estate sale last year in our hometown of Dowagiac, MI.  It is engraved with the date and Trig Lund’s name.  Trig was an executive with the Heddon Lure Company a maker of fishing lures sold around the world. I wrote a whole post about the estate sale last summer.

We always remove the skin from our salmon before we cook it.

Each piece of salmon is placed on a piece of parchment paper and covered with the vegetables and seasoning.

You can actually see the salmon in this shot.

A little wine for moisture is always a good thing.  Also note that David has brushed the edges of the parchment paper with an egg wash to help seal the packets.

The packets are sealed.

The packets ready to go into the oven.  Notice he has also included pats of butter, along with some lemon juice.

After a brief time in the oven, dinner was served.  Along with the salmon I made a rice pilaf and a salad with that burned pancetta.  It actually wasn’t bad.  I will experiment with it again and give you a recipe when I figure it out.   David had no trouble figuring out a great salmon dish.  Here is his recipe.


This is a very simple, delicious and fool-proof way to prepare salmon with vegetables. And, it looks fancy and festive, but it is so easy. You can use any combination of vegetables that suits your fancy. Listed below are some of the ones we commonly use, but you can substitute or include others such as, leeks, and snow peas, anything that can be cut into thin pieces so that it cooks rapidly. You can also substitute any other type of fish fillet that you might have on hand or can find, and you also might want to experiment with other herbs and spices.

Here are one possible set of ingredients per packet, i.e. per serving

one 8 oz salmon filet
¼ cup julienned carrots
¼ cup julienned green onions
¼ cup julienned broccolini
¼ cup julienned red or green pepper
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp dry white wine
basil ½ tsp dried or 1 tsp chopped fresh
2 lemon slices
3 pats of butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg beaten-to seal the packets

Place a salmon filet to the right of the center of a 15” square of parchment paper. Salt and pepper the filet to taste. Sprinkle the olive oil, garlic, and basil over the salmon. Arrange the julienned vegetables on top of the filet. Place two lemon slices and three butter pats on top. Sprinkle the wine over the top and add a little more salt and pepper to the top of the vegetables. Use a brush and the egg wash to paint the edge of paper all the way around to help seal the packet. Fold the left side of the paper over the fish and vegetables and start at the top left corner making small overlapping folds all the way around the three open sides. When you get to the final fold, turn it under to help keep it from unfolding. Prepare as many packets as you want servings and place on a baking sheet in a 400 deg oven for about 18-20 minutes. The fish will actually be done in about 15 minutes, but the veggies will benefit from the extra time, and the fish will remain moist and tender from the cooking method. To serve, place a packet on each plate along with whatever starch you are serving, and cut the packets open with a sharp knife so the contents can be removed to the plate.  Enjoy.

Printable recipe

Thai Shrimp Cakes

March 23rd, 2013

We love our seafood restaurants in Florida.  There are so many fresh and healthy options to choose from in any number of places especially from sushi restaurants near me to taste variety of fish recipes. David and I usually order broiled or baked fish when we are out.  But if fried coconut shrimp is on a restaurant menu, I can’t resist it.  Coconut shrimp, in my opinion, is the very best combination of fried shrimp with a hit of coconut sweetness.  It may not be the best choice, but I love it.

I was happy to see a recipe in Cooking Light Magazine for Thai shrimp Cakes.  One of the ingredients was unsweetened dried coconut.  This was mixed with panko crumbs for both the filling and the breading.  It sounded like it had all of my favorite coconut shrimp flavors.  The first hurdle was finding the coconut.  All that is available in our supermarkets is sweetened flaked coconut.  But we do have a wonderful health food store in town and they had unsweetened dried coconut in the bulk bins.  My 1 cup purchase cost me only $1.00. It was in tiny bits and had a heavenly coconut aroma.

This was an easy recipe to pull together.  Basically, all of the ingredients are chopped and mixed in a bowl.  They are formed into cakes and then coated with a combination of panko crumbs and dried coconut.  A quick saute in oil and you have succulent shrimp cakes with a hint of Asian flavors.  But what came through to me the most was the coconut breading.

This makes a great lunch with salad greens and a good viniagrette dressing.


2/3 cup panko crumbs, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut, divided (minced if large)
2 tablespoons minced green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lime, quartered

Combine 1/3 cup panko, 2 tablespoons coconut, and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl.  Add shrimp; stir just until combines.  Using wet hands, shape mixture into 4 equal balls.  Comine remaining panko and coconut in a shallow dish.  Coat balls in panko mixture; press to form 4 (4-inch) patties.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil; swirl to coat.  Add patties; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Serve with lime.

I served this with spring mix salad greens and a vinaigrette dressing.

Printable recipe

Shrimp and Arugula Pasta

November 7th, 2012

It is good to be back in The Sunshine State.  As much as we love the North Carolina mountains, a change of scene can be invigorating and cleansing.  My thoughts on cooking change with the environment also.  I left my Kitchen Aid mixer and food processor in the Lake Lure kitchen.  The meals I fix here are usually simple and straight forward.  We eat more seafood and try to get more exercise.

The local market had some beautiful wild jumbo shrimp so I adapted a Cooking Light recipe to make this pasta dish.  While visiting the kids I made a run through Trader Joe’s to pick up pantry staples for Florida.  Their lemon pepper pappardelle pasta goes very well with seafood.  Add a bunch of baby arugula and you have a meal in a dish.

So simple and easy!  There are changes coming to my blog.  I am in the process of moving over to Word Press so I hope you will stick with me.


1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
12 ounces pasta of choice, fusilli, linguine, pappardelle
3 cups (packed) fresh baby or regular arugula

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add the red pepper flakes and white wine and bring to a simmer.  Simmer until the wine reduces by half, about 5 minutes.  Add the shrimp and cook just until they are pink, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Drain the pasta, saving some of the pasta water.  Add the pasta and the arugula to the skillet.  Toss to combine.  Season the pasta with salt and pepper and add a little pasta water if dry.  Transfer to a large bowl and serve.

Printable recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.