June 29, 2017
A simple piece of parchment makes the ideal cooking tool when it comes to fish — wrapping a filet up in a package provides moist, gentle heat for it to cook in, with the opportunity to add herbs, citrus and other ingredients you like, in individual packages for different tastes. From Powell River, BC, Lois Lake steelhead trout is a lot like salmon, velvety pink and quick to cook. It pairs well with fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil and chives, or toss in a few thinly sliced new potatoes or a handful of grape tomatoes from the Cucumber Man. All you need to do is fold the parchment into a package — it doesn’t need to look pretty — and bake as many as you like on a rimmed baking sheet for 10-15 minutes, until the fish is nicely steamed through. You can even assemble the packets ahead of time and toss them into the oven (or use foil and toss them on the grill) when you’re ready to eat. All you need is a Canada 150 Berry Cake for dessert!
You can always swap whitefish or halibut for the salmon, adjusting the cooking time to account for the thickness.
steelhead trout or salmon filets
thinly sliced new potatoes, zucchini, kale, halved cherry tomatoes or other fresh veggies
sprigs of thyme, parsley or rosemary (or a pinch of dry herbs)
thin lemon slices (optional)
good olive oil or a dab of butter
salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Tear off as many squares of parchment as you have pieces of fish. Fold each square in half, then unfold and lay the veggies in a single layer on one side of the fold. Lay the fish filet over the veggies. Drizzle with oil (or add a dab of butter) and sprinkle with herbs (or lay sprigs on the filets), add a slice or two of lemon if you like, and season with salt and pepper.
Fold the parchment over the fish and fold the edge to seal it closed. Place the packets on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the fish is firm to the touch. Transfer each package to a plate and carefully open (they can be steamy) to serve. Serves as many as you like.
When firing up the grill, it's easy to default to the usual suspects: hamburgers, chicken, pork chops or steak.
Fresh salmon is real food fast—it cooks in about ten minutes in the oven, on the stovetop or grill, and simmers quickly in soup or curries.
Cod is a lean, mild-flavoured whitefish, with dense flesh and not-too-fragile fillets that are easier to handle in a skillet without falling apart.