Friday, September 9, 2011

Salmon in Packets with Zucchini Succotash

This is the type of dish that you could impress future in-laws with. It says "I'm sophisticated and enjoy my vegetables." And it's ridiculously simple to prepare. Plus calling the veggies a succotash sounds way more appetizing than 'vegetable medley', which pretty much sounds like you rummaged around in your crisper for odds and ends.  Lots of different fish would work too, not just salmon. And you could use whatever vegetables you want, I would just make sure to include some corn. Yellow squash, onions, and corn would be really good.  The flavor of the marinade is garlicky and similar to Italian seasoning, without totally overpowering the fish.  Next time I think I'll cut back the basil and add some lemon zest since I prefer a more lemony flavor.
The basic procedure is you marinate the fish for about an hour in the fridge and then bake them in the packets. While the fish is baking you pan fry the veggies. You could use butter for the veggies, but I wanted to take the flavor up a notch and I used bacon grease. I just fried a strip of thick cut bacon and then cooked the veggies in the drippings. There's no bacon in the photo because my husband pounced on it as soon as it came out of the pan. 

I don't have a bunch of photos either because this dish cools off quickly and I wanted to eat while it was hot! If you are cooking for a group, I would leave the salmon in the oven and just turn the heat down to 250 degrees if you need to keep it warm for a little while. The packets will keep the fish from drying out too much.

Just a side note. I cut all my vegetables with this mandoline slicer. It is one of the most used gadgets in my kitchen. It slices, dices, and makes matchsticks and it has a couple of size settings for each option.  It will take your fingertips off if you don't use the safety holder though. I use it to make hash browns, latkes, eggplant lasagna, and pretty much any dish that involves a substantial amount of vegetable cutting. 

Salmon in Packets
Serves 2 (recipe can easily be halved, doubled, or tripled)
(Adapted from ngibsonn's recipe)

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried basil (I thought the basil was a little overpowering, I think I will cut it back to 1/2 teaspoon next time)
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried-I used dried)
2-4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 4 since mine were on the small side)
2 6-8 oz. salmon fillets

1. Whisk everything together except the salmon.

2. Tear off two sheets of foil big enough to fully enclose each fillet. Spray one side of the foil with cooking spray.  Put the fillets on the foil (skin side down if they have skin)  and turn the foil edges up so it will contain the marinade.

3. Pour 1/2 the marinade over each fillet and fold two opposite sides of the foil over the fish so there is a seam running the length of the fillet. Crimp and roll the other two sides up. Place in an oven safe dish and let them marinate for about an hour in the fridge.

4. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes. You'll know the fish is done when it flakes easily with  a fork. Drain the olive oil out of the packets and serve with lemon slices.

Zucchini Succotash
Serves 2

1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 ear of corn
1 slice bacon, thick cut (or 2 regular)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Microwave the corn in a bowl with a little water for a couple of minutes to make it easier to cut off the kernels. Stand it on one end and run a sharp knife as close to the cob as possible to remove the kernels.

2. Fry the bacon until crispy and remove from pan.

3. Saute the vegetables in the same pan until they are al dente (in other words they should just start to soften and be flexible, but not mushy).  Add salt and pepper and serve with bacon crumbled over the top if it hasn't already been eaten.

1 comment:

  1. It's always amazing to me just how good salmon in packets turns out! Such a simple thing...but so moist and delicious!

    In response to your comment on my blog, you can totally use larger tomatoes! I would just roast them for a bit longer (maybe an extra ten minutes) and then cut coarsely chop them before mixing into the pasta!