We all love the big work horses of our kitchens – the stove, maybe your slow cooker, your favorite cast iron skillet, your rice cooker…whatever. But what about all those little things. The little things that make all the difference in the world. Today, my little thing is parchment paper. I love it. After reading All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art like a novel, I tuned in to the part where she recommends parchment paper. So, now I use it pretty much every time I roast, especially if there is anything sweet in the glaze.
But what I don’t use it enough for is actually cooking in it. Little lovely flavor filled parchment pouches. I can’t remember the last time I made something in parchment, and yet it is the ultimate one dish meal.
The only thing even slightly challenging about cooking in parchment is the assembly line process you need to set up on your kitchen counter. Here I spread my parchment paper, end to end on my counter. The knives lining the edges are to help it lie flat. Then I even divided up the baby spinach, orange zest, orange slices, salmon, shallots, ginger, salt, pepper and olive oil. I usually fold mine up and staple it, not as rustic looking as those artfully folded ones, but it does the job easy and quick.
The beauty of parchment is that everything cooks up nice and moist in their little packets, all that lovely juice is saved. So, I always serve parchment packets over some sort of grain or pasta. This time I served it over a four grain pilaf that I made in the slow cooker. That was my only pot for this gorgeous meal!! The chewiness of the grains was the perfect backdrop for this light meal.
You can find the recipe at Martha Stewart: Salmon and Spinach in Parchment.