Archive for September 14th, 2009

This way of cooking salmon was simple with a beautiful citrus flavour and was perfect for lunch on a warm late Summer Sunday.  The fish was placed on a bed of tomatoes in a greaseproof parcel, topped with a knob of flavoured butter and a slice of lime before being baked in the oven.  As well as using lime as a garnish, I squeezed lime juice over the fish before cooking.  The lime slices looked rather sad when they had been cooked so I suggest they are added towards the end of cooking time so they would be fresher and more attractive.  It was one of those days when I had no fresh basil in the house so I had to substitute dried: it was just about satisfactory, but I would definitely use fresh if available. The original recipe suggested individual parcels of fish and this would be lovely if being served at a dinner – one parcel per guest.  However, for a family meal it would be perfectly satisfactory to wrap all portions in the same parcel, with aluminium foil being much easier to use than greaseproof paper or baking parchment. 

Lime & Basil Baked Salmon Parcels was a slight adaptation of a recipe taken from a book found in the library, Cooking with Salmon, the King of Fish by Jane Bamforth.   Originally called Herby Salmon Parcels, this is one of several recipes I made and we enjoyed from the book.

100_4623 Herby Lime Baked Salmon Parcels

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Lime & Basil Baked Salmon Parcels
(Serves 4)

1 lime
50g/2ozs butter, softened
2tbsp finely chopped fresh basil (or 1tbsp dried basil if fresh unavailable)
4 tomatoes, sliced – preferably Italian plum tomatoes if available
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 salmon fillets (one per person)
1tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to season

1.  Remove the rind from the lime with a zester, taking care not to remove any white pith.  Cut the lime into 8 slices on a plate and reserve any lime juice that collects.  Add the butter and chopped basil to the lime zest and blend well.  Roll this butter mixture into a log shape and chill in the refrigerator.

2.  Pre-heat the over to 190oC/375oF/Gas 5.  Cut one piece of greaseproof paper or baking parchment per portion, large enough to fold over and hold together.  Alternatively cut one large piece of parchment or aluminium foil big enough to hold all portions and fold over.

3.  Arrange one sliced tomato for each portion of fish, sprinkle each equally with the garlic and season.

4.  Place one piece of salmon on top of each tomato pile.  Cut the butter log into four equal pieces and put on top of the fish.  Tip any lime juice that has collected with the slices equally over the pieces of fish. Drizzle each with a small amount of olive oil.

5.  Fold the paper over to make neat parcels, tucking the ends upwards so that the juices are contained.  If they do not keep together then the paper can be stapled, but be very careful to remove each staple before serving.

6.  Place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.  Five minutes before the end of the cooking time open each parcel (dispose of any staples you have used) and place two slices of lime on each piece of fish.  Leaving the parcels open cook for a further five minutes.

7.  The salmon can be served in its opened parcels, however as the paper becomes discoloured during cooking it is probably more attractive to remove it.  Serve with new potatoes and a green vegetable.

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