When I asked my daughter what she thought of the salmon, she hopped up on her chair and gave me two thumbs up. I have to admit it really is that good but surprised by her enthusiasm. Luckily, my son did not copy her and fall out of his booster seat.
Steaming the salmon in parchment paper allows the lemon, fresh thyme sprigs and Oregano and Sage French Grey salt to infuse and create a moist, very flavorful fish. There are many recipes using plastic bags to cook the fish with a sous-vide-like method which seals in herbs and sugar to create the same effect but I just cannot cook with plastic because of the chemicals possibly leaching at high heats. Fine Cooking said they checked with Ziploc and it is fine to cook the fish in their freezer or storage bags but not the sandwich bags. Parchment paper works quite well and I feel is healthier so I will continue using it.
Another reason to use this technique is when your fish is not fully thawed. My fish was still a little frozen in the middle and needed to cook longer than usual which would normally dry out the fish but the parchment paper prevents that from happening. The steam keeps the fish ultra moist.
One of the great things about this recipe is it takes no time to prepare and the clean up is very easy. Just throw away the parchment paper. This is definitely a meal you can have on the table in less than 30 minutes and you will love it.
You can also change up this recipe by adding some fresh vegetables like carrots, asparagus, and garlic as well as add a little white wine. Here is a recipe that I will try in the fall with some carrots from my garden.
1) Place the salmon on a large piece of parchment paper.
2) Zest the lemon and set aside to use for another recipe or sprinkle on the salmon. Squeeze half of the lemon over the salmon and slice the other half into thin circles. Add two or three slices on top of the fish. Add two or three sprigs of thyme.
3) Drizzle 1 tablespoon of avocado or olive oil on the salmon or use a brush to coat the fish with the oil. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon or tablespoon of Oregano with plenty of Sage French Grey salt over the fish. If you do not have Oregano French Grey salt, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of your best sea salt.
4) Fold two side of the paper toward the middle and then fold the other two sides together and crease the edges to seal. To ensure the parchment paper will stay closed, use two toothpicks. Look for toothpicks without color or the dye can bleed onto the fish. You can also place the fish with the seam down to ensure it stays closed.
5) Use a cast iron skillet if you have one so the fish will cook more evenly. Place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees convection for 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness. My 1 pound, 1.5 inch think piece cooked for 15 minutes, 20 minutes not thawed all the way.
6) Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy!