Need a new go-to meal, low in calories and long in flavor? Here’s your quick and easy dinner after a long day’s work. Dolphin in parchment paper with bright and gorgeous vegetables takes about 10-15 minutes to assemble then 30 minutes in the oven. This dish will fill your kitchen with a mouth-watering fragrance and is supremely satisfying. Being low in calories is especially welcome during the holidays. And I find if I have a healthful, filling meal I tend to lean towards grapes or a few apple slices for dessert. This recipe is fabulously forgiving in that pretty much all the vegetables may be substituted to please your guests or family. The potato slices may be left out entirely. Don’t like zucchini? Fat, crunchy asparagus spears work just as well in their place. Don’t have any fresh tomatoes on hand? Chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil work beautifully. Fresh basil can easily be replaced with fresh thyme, tarragon or rosemary. And if you’ve cut up all your lemons for the bar, feel free to zest a lime over the fish. Some folks don’t care for tapenade or olive spread. If you’re one of these people, how about pesto in its place? The broth from the vegetables and fish mixed with the juices of the olive spread is of the gods. And, last, let’s talk about the fish. If you don’t have mahi-mahi, another name for dolphin, use salmon, snapper, cod, tuna or grouper. This is one easy, forgiving meal, people. My parchment paper measures about 12X16″. I lightly cover the paper with non-stick spray and quickly stack the vegetables ending with the fish fillets and lemon zest. After a drizzle of olive oil, a shake of salt and freshly cracked pepper, the parchment paper is creased in half with the fish and vegetables sitting in the middle of the bottom half of paper.
To finish the open sides are folded, doubled-up and pinched closed towards the fish. Placed on a baking sheet and slid into the oven, you’ll now have a fabulous dinner ready to be enjoyed in 30 minutes. Snaps to you.
Dolphin and Vegetables in Parchment Paper
- 2 4-5 ounce dolphin fillets, fresh or thawed
- 4 large potato slices, 1/8″ thick, you only need 1 potato
- 1 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into 4 equal slices
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 small tomatoes, both sliced into 4 equal slices
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves
- 8-10 teaspoons olive spread
- the zest of one lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- a little olive oil to drizzle over the fish
- Pre-heat oven to 400°.
- Fold 2 12X16″ pieces of parchment paper in half lengthwise, place on a baking sheet and open both pieces of paper.
- Spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray and lay 2 potato slices, alongside the middle crease of the paper.
- On each packet place 2 slices of zucchini lengthwise over the potato slices.
- Over the zucchini continue stacking the onion, tomato and basil in equal amounts between the two bundles.
- Drop 4-5 teaspoons of olive spread lengthwise on the basil then top each stack with the fish fillets.
- Scatter equal amounts of fresh lemon zest along with the salt and pepper over each fillet.
- Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the fillets.
- Fold over the other half of the parchment paper and begin to crimp and fold in the open sides beginning either on the top or bottom.
- Place the baking sheet with the fish packets into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Carefully tear open the top of the packets and slide the entire contents into a shallow soup or pasta bowl including any broth.
- Serve immediately.
Here in Boston it seems that spring has sprung. Everybody’s out walking, with dogs or pushing baby strollers. Young girls are out sporting tank tops, sandals and legs so lily-white that I have to remind myself that staring is impolite. I find myself quickening my pace as I walk to see if the girl in front of me is wearing white hose. I catch myself thinking, “Can there possibly be any blood in those limbs?”. And go back to my original thought, “That’s not very nice, Alicia.” to which the other side of my brain responds, “Well, I’M not very nice”. Flowers have bloomed everywhere; the Public Garden and the Common are a riot of color with purple globes of allium, banks of roses and borders of pansies.
Toddlers run every which way on soft beds of grass as the sunlight bounces brilliantly off the emerald-green leaves of massive elm trees. This is the weather that begs for clean food, light food, tasty, healthful food.
I started craving fresh salmon burgers for dinner a few days ago and set about to fulfill that desire. Here in Boston at the beginning of summer finds me without a fully equipped kitchen. At home I would pulse fresh salmon through the food processor a few times and not give it a second thought. Luckily for me salmon is soft and delicate and with the aid of two dinner forks I easily scraped the fish off of the skin leaving a lovely coral mound with the same texture as that of ground beef. In fact, I much preferred the fish I flaked by hand as it’s just too easy to over-process it in the food processor. I added panko crumbs to lighten the dish; I didn’t want a heavy, dense burger plus I knew that addition would help the burgers keep their shape. I mixed the bread crumbs with all the herbs and seasonings so I could taste it and check for seasoning adjustments before adding the salmon. That done I shaped four large patties, covered them with plastic wrap and set them in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours. That, too, would help them retain their shape while cooking.
After a workout on Commonwealth Mall and catching up with all my SoFlo peeps it was time to prepare dinner. I put together a quick Asian style slaw to serve with the open face burgers so we wouldn’t miss the buns. Totally fooled my stomach! And they came out great. I’ve since discovered uncooked salmon burgers freeze extremely well so keep that in mind when salmon goes on sale. Make some for dinner and throw a few in the freezer for the nights you come home too tired to cook. Life is good.
Fresh and Spicy Salmon Burgers
- 1 1/4 pounds salmon filet, SKIN ON!
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 3-4 thinly sliced scallions, all of the white and 3/4 of the green
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger root
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely grated
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- Combine all ingredients except salmon in a medium-sized bowl and mix well to combine all flavors. Taste for adjustments and set aside.
- Place salmon filet skin side down on a non-skid surface such as a wooden cutting board.
- Use a dinner fork in one hand to hold fish in place and holding a dinner fork in your other hand gently scrape fish off skin working from one end to the other.
- Without overworking fish, combine salmon with panko mixture until all ingredients are evenly combined.
- Gently form into four patties, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Cook salmon burgers for three to four minutes per side for medium rare.
- Serve immediately open face or on toasted buns. If you go with the buns, drop a little heat or sesame oil into some mayonnaise and slather that on one side of the bun.