Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Salmon in parchment

The last salmon in the freezer is bittersweet--no more salmon for easy cooking = sad. Getting ready to go get more and have the option for fresh salmon = terrific. The last two fillets of our trout-sized Necker Bay Sockeye became a delightful salmon in parchment, thanks to reading about other fish-in-parchment fun at Choosy Beggars.

Necker Bay is a long, well, Bay about 25 miles south of Town, in the South Baranof Wilderness. Our normal run for Sockeye, Redoubt, had low returns last year so we needed to go further south. We went for an overnight camping trip with our friends Jim and Fancy and their 3 dogs. I'm glad I don't have 3 dogs. We scooped about a dozen wriggling fish out of the stream before a bear pushed us off our spot. We picked the longline and went home, in a nasty windstorm.
Look at us, keeping the dogs away from the fried Chicken.

These particular salmon are kind of a gross pain-in-the-ass. They are really small and they are coated with slug-like goo. Dear Dirty Fisherman calls them slime eels, because he knows that imagery grosses me out. Really, it's accurate:

That is un-rinsed, goopy, glory right there. I must always have a beer while I do this because it turns my stomach. You actually have to scrape that snot off with a knife/fingernails.

Enough about that. This recipe exploits one of the most amazing combination for salmon: lemon, capers, parsley, and butter. (I threw in garlic and shallots in because everything is better with garlic and shallots.)

You clean the salmon, coarsely chop the capers and parsley; mince the garlic; and slice the shallot and lemons.

The lemon wasn't as thin as I usually go, but it was serviceable.

You then tear off a really, really log piece of parchment. It should be long enough to hold the fish long ways. These fillets are really narrow so the width of parchment is more than enough to wrap around. Lay the parchment on a cookie sheet (I like a rimmed one to minimize burnt-on fish juice ick in the oven). Place the first fillet, skin side down on the parchment.

Dot the fillet with a generous 1 T butter. Sprinkle about half of the garlic, capers, and parsley over the fish.

That is probably more than 1T of butter. Oh well.
Add shallots.

Add lemons (yes, the slicing was uneven. I blame the beer.)

Sprinkle with the rest of the garlic, shallot, parsley, and capers

Finally place the second fillet over the top of this mess

You can spot the offending beer in the background.

Pack up the salmon in the parchment. Fold the end over long ways, begin folding around the edges at the base and work around until you have an ellipse.

Throw it in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes and...

Taa-da. Sockeye is such a fatty fish.

I'm pretty sure I wrote about salmon in parchment before. It was a pretty similar recipe, in fact. Since we have 5 species of salmon to dork around with, I wanted to try this out with Sockeye. I guess this is just my way of leaving winter, and last year's fish, behind as spring is for sure in the air. Just this morning I watched the 30-50 trollers out at the Edgecumbe grounds fishing for Kings.

I wish our boat was working because it's greasy calm and sunny.

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