Salmon En Papillote–College Edition

I’ve been trying to find “healthy” ways of treating myself every week. By healthy I mean “not ice cream” and “not red wine”. But every week I want to buy myself SOMETHING special. Why? Why not? It’s summer. I’ve got my PhD. I’ve only got a pile of work to do, both from my actual job perspective as well as from the more practical perspective of “Holy shit, I’m moving.”

So last week I bought myself some salmon. Love salmon. Always have. It IS very fatty–one could argue it’s the ice cream of fish. But it’s full of protein, and all kinds of vitamins and “Omega-3″s (aka “stuff yuppies and hippies buy in pill/extract form from places like Whole Foods or Earth Fare”).

I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been fascinated by the en papillote cooking method. It looks amazing simple, and seems like from a presentation perspective it would be absolutely beautiful. One day I dream of doing an en papillote with fresh peppers, and clams, and various other shellfish.

And while I’m no longer a grad student, I *am* currently unemployed (at least for the next…six weeks). Going all-out on shellfish, etc., especially when I’m just cooking for me seems extravagant and bordering on ridiculous.

This was my grad-student-budget/MacGyver fix. Instead of literal “papillote”, I used aluminum foil. I did not include other shellfish, but did something much simpler: white wine, butter, garlic, and capers. And the cleanup was essentially nonexistent, so it really doesn’t get any better than that, does it?



  • Salmon fillets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic (fresh, chopped)
  • Butter
  • White wine (don’t cook with anything you wouldn’t drink)
  • Capers


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. For each salmon fillet, make a little aluminum foil “boat”. If there’s skin on the salmon, place it skin-side down.
  3. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. On top place capers, chopped garlic, and butter. In the bottom of the “boat”, add a splash of white wine.
  4. Seal the pockets, and cook in the oven for approximately 15 minutes.

    I'm sure this picture is BEYOND helpful.
    I’m sure this picture is BEYOND helpful.
  5. Open the packages, and eat!

    With a few mini-quiche...because...why not?
    With a few mini-quiche…because…why not?



2 thoughts on “Salmon En Papillote–College Edition

  1. this is a wonderful way to prepare fish. if you want edible paper you can use puff pastry and just remember to egg wash the pastry. some folks make a salt paste to bake it in. you can add so many things to this for flavor–fresh herbs, citrus, mushrooms, fennel…the list is only limited by your imagination. love trading your food posts.

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