Salmon Challenge #5: Wild Alaskan Chinook en papillote (in parchment paper) on mushroom-pine nut purée and garnished with Alaskan shrimp.
I got the idea for this recipe in A. J. McClane’s North American Fish Cookery, a thin volume of just over 100 fish and shellfish recipes. In his day, McClane was perhaps the most well-known contemporary name in angling literature and journalism and was a gourmet chef to boot. Now 31 years old, this book is very much worth having if you can find a copy. McClane used petrale sole in the original recipe. Salmon was the first of several modifications I made. I would have loved to have had sherry for the mushroom-pine nut purée, but the miso soup used instead gave it a very nice flavor.
To make two servings you will need two oven-proof plates and two sheets of parchment paper large enough to cover the plates. A pair of charger plates to set the hot plates on when they come out of the oven are a nice touch.
- 3/4 pound fillet of wild salmon, cut in half. Skin on or off is cook’s choice. I leave the skin on in virtually all recipes.
- olive oil
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, chopped coarse
- 1/2 cup sweet onions, chopped coarse
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup miso soup flavored fairly strong
- 1/2 tablespoon dry tarragon
- ground black pepper
- sea salt
- soy sauce
- sherry (optional – to add to mushroom-pine nut purée while sautéing).
- carrot sliced into julienne strips – enough to place a few on each fillet without overwhelming the fish
- shrimp peeled and deveined, 2 to 5 for each fillet, depending on size of shrimp. Other garnishes could include thinly sliced lemon, julienne squash, shellfish (small oysters, shrimp, scallops, mussels, crab meat), or fresh herbs
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Rinse the salmon fillets, pat dry with paper towels, sprinkle with ground pepper and sea salt and set aside.
3. Very briefly sauté the julienne carrots in olive oil and a little soy sauce, stirring continuously till just limp but still crunchy. Remove from skillet and set aside.
4. Prepare 1/2 cup of strong miso soup and set aside.
5. Place about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for a minute or two. Add the mushrooms, garlic, pine nuts, tarragon, a few grinds of pepper and sea salt. Add the miso soup. Sauté till liquid is mostly evaporated and ingredients are cooked through. Set aside.
6. Purée the mushroom-pine nut mixture in a food processor or blender. If more liquid is needed, add a small amount of water and olive oil.
7. Arrange one sheet of parchment paper on each ovenproof plate and put a little olive oil in the center (where the purée will go) to prevent sticking.
8. Spread half the purée on each sheet of parchment paper. Place salmon fillets atop the purée. Top the salmon with julienne carrots and shrimp.
9. Seal parchment paper by crimping or folding ends together and folding under.
10. Bake on plates on center rack for 20 minutes.
Try this exceptionally flavorful entrée with a glass of Champagne.
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