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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
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Friday, August 28, 2009

She Said (6) - Salmon and Vegetable Packets

If you recall my husband and I are having a bit of a contest with each of us using a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens® New Grilling Book to create a meal. In total there will be 12 recipes, 6 of his choosing and 6 of mine. The contest ends August 31 so the first week of September I will post a poll where you can vote for the meal you liked best. The rules are all the ingredients must be used but the amounts can be altered.

salmon and vegetable packet ingredientsIngredients

I chose a salmon dish for my 6th and final recipe of the contest. The recipe indicated that the meal is cooked on the grill then served in its foil pouch which would make this an ideal recipe for camping. I did not serve in the foil pouch choosing to plate the meal instead.

The ingredients for the meal are pictured. I used wild Pacific salmon fillets and homemade chicken stock. The dried rosemary was from my previous garden. All of the produce used in the dish was locally grown some from my garden and some purchased. The recipe said to use 4 small yellow summer squash (zucchini) but I used 3 medium green summer squash instead.

Salmon and Vegetable Packets
source: Meredith Corporation, Better Homes and Garden New Grilling Book, 2005. Pp. 322

1 lb fresh or frozen skinless salmon
2 c carrot strips
2 c red sweet pepper strips
12 fresh asparagus spears
4 small summer squash
½ c dry white wine or chicken stock
2 tsp snipped fresh rosemary or ½ tsp dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 tbsp butter
hot cooked white or brown rice (optional)

Thaw fish if frozen. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Measure the thickness of the fish then cut into 4 serving-size pieces and set aside. [Foil pack formation method changed by me.] Cut eight 18-inch pieces of heavy-duty foil. Layer in 4 sets of two. Spray the top layer of foil with oil in health mister or brush lightly with vegetable oil. Arrange the vegetables and salmon in equal portions on each top layer of foil. Mix chicken stock, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Drizzle over the fish and vegetables. Top each packet with a pat of butter. Fold the 2 opposite sided together and make a double fold to hold them together. Fold the each end together using a double fold to create a sealed packet. Repeat with the second layer of foil for each packet making it slightly looser than the first. Place on preheated medium heat grill. Cook 12 to 14 minutes per ½-inch thickness of fish. When finished cooking remove from heat. Carefully open each packet avoiding the steam. Serve in foil packet or plate as desired.

assembling foil packetsGrilling

Pictured is the assembly of the foil packets (top) and on the grill (bottom). Once you have the fish and vegetables ready on the 2 layers of foil it is time to form your packet. This is quite easy using a double fold method that forms a centre seam. The same double fold method is used to form each end seam. The end result is a tightly sealed rectangular shaped foil packet with 3 double folded seams. To made a double seam: As oriented in the picture bring the top and bottom edges of the foil together over the fish and vegetables. Hold the two edges then fold them over about a ½-inch. Press along the fold with your fingers. Fold the first fold over again about a ½-inch. Press with your fingers then press the fold flat across the packet. You have now created a double seam. Repeat this fold on each end to create a tightly sealed foil packet.

Foil packet cooking whether at home or camping is a convenient method for cooking moist, tender and tasty meals with little clean-up. The foil packet itself can serve as the serving dish especially when camping. The food is cooked by the steam produced from the food as it cooks inside the packet. This method results in moist, tender and flavourful meats, poultry and fish. A variety of vegetables and/or sauces can be added to the packets for a complete entrée or cooked in separate foil packets as a side dish.

salmon and vegetable packetsSalmon and Vegetable Packets

Pictured is the salmon and vegetable packet after cooking served with a side of Calrose rice. Calrose rice is a medium grain rice grown in California. It was developed in California in the early 1970s from a radiation-bred variety of japonica medium-grain rice. The rice is sticky when cooked making it ideal for sushi. My favourite way to cook Calrose rice is in the rice maker with homemade chicken stock and butter.

What I love about using any steaming method of cooking is the colour retention in vegetables. Don't they look lovely? The salmon and vegetable packet did not disappoint. The salmon was nicely cooked, definitely flakey and tender. I liked the addition of asparagus in the vegetable mix. The sauce used was pleasant and not overpowering. I would be tempted to add a bit of maple syrup to the sauce. Overall we found the meal quite pleasing so this is a keeper recipe.

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