Sunday, December 21, 2014

Salmon Poached in Parchment Paper

So I am in the middle of writing Part II of our European Tour post.  It’s taking me a little while because I want to include just the right photos and summary so my dear readers can enjoy a virtual trip.  

In the meantime, back to a Dinner Club post.

First, last Sunday was my Annual Ornament Exchange Party.  As usual, it was a blast…lots of food, spirits and rousing competition.  As in past years, there were a few fiercely sought favorites…an accordion, a red fox, a winged-tipped convertible that plays “Low Rider”, a hunk of ceramic cheese and an ambulance.  

My meatballs and gravy, were a big hit….I think there might be a revolt if I ever eliminated them from the menu!   And oh, I made these adorable little Red Velvet Cup Cakes decorated with candy strip bows…..Martha (or her elves) taught me the bow trick and you know I’m all about the bows.

And polka dots.

Our Wednesday dinners have also resumed after a brief hiatus to accommodate our world travelers.  Last week we had dinner at M.’s house.  In addition to the fabulous crab cakes she served, we were treated to a showing of her newly bedazzled home…it is certainly quite lovely.  Built-in cabinets, a stunning fireplace surround, soft teal/blue fabrics, painted furniture and lovely accent pieces all beautifully complement each other and her charming1920’s home.  I felt like I was back in the designer showcase house!   I was so smitten that I forgot to ask about the crab cake recipe!  As you can imagine, they were delicious.

This past week, it was A.’s turn to host and she made salmon poached in parchment paper (you see it, up there, to the left).  Lately, I am a fan of salmon and I especially like it pan-seared or grilled and tossed on a salad.  But then I tasted this little number and, oh my goodness, I'm swooning.  The flavors serendipitously meet in an adorable (and utilitarian) little parchment pouch and frolic together producing mouth-watering magic. 

Like a little culinary meet-cute

I’m half Italian.  I like to romanticize food…it makes the eating experience much more fun.  “Meet-Cute” is referenced in one of my favorite movies EVER….The Holiday.  I could watch that movie a gazillion times and never be bored.  Younger daughter refuses to watch it with me more than once each Christmas.

She's such a kill-joy.

This salmon recipe is as easy as could be and also a little fancy.   It will surely put a smile on anyone's face.  I know we were smiling….from ear-to-ear!

Salmon Poached in Parchment Paper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to envelop a piece of salmon (about the size of a small pear).  Brush a little olive oil on the paper and place the fish on top of the parchment paper.  Add salt, pepper, chopped leeks, a few lemon slices, a capful of white vermouth and a sprig of dill.  Fold the parchment to form a tight seal.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.  Serve the wonderfully poached beauties in the pouches.  

So seriously good.  

After dinner, we had  tea and dessert - ginger cake with pistachios - and exchanged Christmas gifts…we had a lot of fun taking turns opening our treasures.  I cherish these moments.

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