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Salmon en Papillote Recipe

We have given this recipe for salmon, but a steak of any firm fish is just as successful - Brill and Turbot spring to mind, but rolled-up Dover Sole fillets or Monkfish medallions would be equally successful. If you prefer more robust flavours see our recipe for 'Salmon, Sea Bass or Swordfish en Papillote Barbecue-Style'

If rolling up sole fillets, or the fillets of any fish for that matter - having removed the skin, make a few shallow cuts on this skin side and roll them so this becomes the inside. This way they are less likely to unroll. A cocktail stick is a useful aid for some recipes, but if used here might puncture the parcel.

For thin fillets reduce the oven time to 10 minutes and cut out the preliminary sealing.


4 helpings as a main course:

- 4 * 170g/6oz Salmon fillets, skinned

- 50g/2oz Butter

- 50ml/2 fl oz Noilly Prat - no other vermouth combines so well with fish

- 450ml/16 fl oz Double Cream

- 1 big Carrot, peeled

- 2 sticks of Celery, washed

- 1 big Leek, carefully washed - then the root and dark-green sections removed (the hot-tasting dark green top can be used for stock)

- half a small Fennel bulb (optional)

- a sprig of fresh Tarragon or a small pinch of dried

- Salt and freshly-ground Pepper

- The juice of half a Lemon, sieved

Equipment: 25cm/10in squares of good tin foil or greaseproof paper


1. Cut the vegetables into julienne strips.
2. Melt half the butter in a wide saucepan or frying pan and gently sweat the vegetable pieces for 3 minutes, adding the tarragon leaves and a little salt and pepper for the final minute. Mix well and transfer to a side dish, leaving the juices in the pan.
3. Add the remaining butter to the pan and increase the heat to medium.
4. Sprinkle the fish steaks with a little salt and pepper on both sides, the seal them b frying for 1 minute on each side. Remove them from the pan, so that they stop cooking instantly.
5. Add the Noilly Prat to the pan and deglaze any goodies; then mix in the cream and cook until it bubbles. Remove from the heat.
6. Assemble your parcels by sharing out the ingredients, putting just a few vegetable strips underneath the fish, but most on top.
7. Loosely secure the parcels, allowing plenty of air space inside.

 can be prepared ahead up to this point and kept at room temperature for a few hours or in the fridge if overnight.

8. Heat the oven to 200°/400°/Gas 6.
9. Put your parcels onto a baking tray, at the top of the oven for 15 minutes.
10. Remove.
To Serve: either unwrap in the kitchen or produce the parcels at the table allowing your guests to unwrap their own - perhaps with simple vegetables, and perhaps new potatoes.

Recipe taken from 'Foolproof Entertaining' by Simon Scrutton.

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