It was time for me to check through my freezer draw with fish and seafood – there was quite a lot to be used up.
There was salmon pieces that been left over since I last served my “famous” fish soup, a small piece of ovenbaked fish pate and garlic king prawns.
So I diced to cook “en papillote” – in a parcel. My grandmother did that often when I was a child, salted herring with potatoes on the AGA ember in wet newspaper sheet.
I used foil, but if it had been for a restaurant menu it would have been in parchment paper and foiled in that in very posh way, that isn’t particular easy.
The advantage of cooking “en papillote” is that the entire aroma stays with the food and all the jus to. No pots to wash up neither.
Not many fresh ingredients this time neither; fresh lemon juice and butter – that is all.
Again I used Findus for the vegetable mix – oven roast potato and vegetable mix with orange and yellow carrots, leek, potatoes, celery jack, parsnip and all pre-season with basil, thyme and black pepper plus a couple of frozen asparagus.
I defrosted the salmon pieces and the fish pate – everything else I kept frozen. I based the foil sheet with the frozen vegetable mix and the fish went on top – finished of the with the king prawns, used two – and to pieces of butter that I had turned in frozen dill. I season with that fantastic “don’t know what’s in” fish spice, black pepper and some rock salt. To last before closing up the foil I squeezed some lemon juice over the all the ingredients.
The king prawns I kept frozen, because they don’t take long time to cook and to eat over- cooked prawns is like eating rubber.
Oven pre-heated to 200C/390F – I cooked the parcel for 35 min. All done and I tell you when I open that parcel it was a heavenly aroma coming against me.
You can use any vegetables you fancy, frozen or fresh, if fresh they have to be blanched of before.
Blanched come from the French cuisine too, of course – and it means that you dip your vegetables in salted boiled water for a couple of minutes, after that you chock them under ice cold water or in water with ice cubes, so they keep their color.
That is something you should always do before your freeze any fresh vegetables, that way they will not lose their color when defrosted and of course they will cook so much quicker.
Here is a minute guide;
Artichoke(Hearts) 6 minutes
Asparagus 2-4 minutes (depending on how thick the stalks are)
Beans-Green or Wax 3 minutes
Broccoli (1-inch pieces) 2 minutes
Brussels Sprouts 3-5 minutes (depending on size)
Cauliflower (1-inch) 3 minutes
Kohlrabi (1-inch cubes) 1 minute
Leafy Greens 1-2 minutes (use the longer time for collards and cabbage)
Okra 2-3 minutes (depending on size)
Peas (Pod) 2-3 minutes (depending on size)
Peas (Shelled) 1.5 minutes
Squash (Chayote) 2 minutes
Squash (Summer) 3 minutes
Blanch small whole carrots 5 minutes, diced or sliced 2 minutes and lengthwise strips 2 minutes.
Make sure whenever you serve smoked or “gravid” and cook salmon that that the darkest part is cut away, because it affects the flavor – leaving it on can make the salmon taste rancid. When serving sliced smoked and “gravid” – just cut out the dark triangle before serving. And when cooking salmon filet, just cut the dark part away. It’s also where all the fat on the salmon is.
“In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.”
(click on this logo and you will come to all my quick fix)
My cloud comes from the soundtrack to the animated film ” Ratatouille”; a good cover of Camille’s “Le Festin” – The Feast.