Spring has finally sprung and with it the need to spend more time outside and less time in the kitchen.
We all have better things to do than spending time over a hot stove, stirring and simmering. And I have a great solution to help you get out of the kitchen faster—and spend even less time cleaning up.
What if I told you that you could cook everything for a nice dinner in a foil bag on a cookie sheet?
Let’s say you have some fresh vegetables and a fillet of fish or boneless, skinless chicken breasts or even a few thin sliced pork chops.
You could cook each of these things separately, or you could be a little innovative and cook them all together with some spices and garnishes—in foil so you wouldn’t have to clean up pots and pans afterward.
It seems a simple idea and it is.
French cooks have been doing this for years with a technique they call en pappillote—or cooking in paper.
They use parchment paper and usually use it to create an impressive individual fish dish that is served directly to the guest in the paper and opened at the table, so the steam and fabulous smells rise and greet the guest before they begin eating.
And you can do that too if you’d like.
But for me, the easiest way to get dinner for four on the table quickly is to use the same idea, but enlarge it to encompass a whole meal.
Here’s one recipe I made just last night that was a hit and took five minutes to prep and about 30 minutes to bake because I hadn’t completely thawed the fish out before I started cooking.
You can do this using a 400ºF oven or even do it outside on a preheated gas or charcoal grill.
Salmon Foil Supper with Spring Vegetables
One large salmon fillet, cut into four servings
3 cloves garlic, smashed and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
4 large carrots, sliced thinly into ¼ inch pennies
2 zucchini, sliced into ½ inch circles
24 Grape tomatoes
Butter flavored cooking spray
1 Tablespoon dried dill
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
salt and pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 400 or heat the grill up to medium high. Lay a large piece of foil over a cookie sheet and spray it with cooking spray. Slice the three lemons and lay half of them out on the center of the foil. Lay the salmon out over the lemon slices. Season the salmon with a sprinkling of dill, seasoning salt and salt and pepper. Spread several onion slices over the salmon and top them with the rest of the lemon slices. Spread the carrots out on one side of the salmon, and the zucchini slices out on the other. Sprinkle them both with the garlic and some salt and pepper, more seasoning salt and dill. Add the tomatoes either on the end of the fish or over the zucchini slices. Sprinkle the white wine over the fish. Take a second large sheet of foil and cover the whole bottom sheet, crimping the sides all together to create one big foil bag with the food sealed inside. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and let it bake for 20-25 minutes until the carrots are tender and the salmon cooked to your liking. Serve immediately.