A Healthy Feast for 2011!

January 24, 2011 at 10:25 am | Posted in Cookbooks, Dinner | 4 Comments

When I give myself a mission (aka to make a very healthy dinner) I go full force! And wondrously, it turned out better than I ever expected! So it had been a couple of weeks since I saw Beffy and Kelly and so I invited them to come out to Frederick for a feast and Laurita even decided to come too! To satisfy the vegetarian (ish) requirements of our meal I went to the library to search for some new recipes! I found this cookbook (French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook) and found some winners in there! I also browsed through my copy of the Back to Basics and found a great wintery soup!
This beauteous colorful meal was salmon en papillote! It had grated carrot, sliced leeks and, diced asparagus and supremed oranges! The real secret to the amazing flavor was some fresh orange juice and some sesame oil!


So go check out some step by step (yeah like NKOTB) pictures and me using Piknik to the fullest!

So just like the majority of our gatherings, it starts with champagne! And fortunately for me, it was pink! Thank you Beffy! Loved it.


Then we got to the soup that I had made earlier in the afternoon. See recipe here and the neat part of the butternut squash/apple/onion curried pureed soup was the toppings! It used banana pieces, curried cashews, scallions and toasted coconut! (blegh on the coconut… but yummm for my ladies)


So we ate the soup and it was verrry filling. Then we got to the fun!


We cut out parchment paper in 12 by 15 sheets and dressed each with sesame oil, and then topped it with all of the veggies (carrots, leeks and asparagus).


Then on went the fresh salmon with lots of fresh kosher salt and pepper. And I know it was fresh because I smelled it (ahem, ned…). I went to the common market and saw about their salmon, but it said previously frozen, SO, there was another seafood purveyor in the same shopping center, Cameron’s, and I made sure to smell their salmon and it was good!


So then we topped the Salmon with supremed orange pieces and fresh orange juice and then one more swig of sesame oil.


Then I folded them very expertly (toot toot). Start from one end and just fold/roll it up until you get to the other end. Then fold the ends in and tuck them under the packet.


This is another before shot. We laid the orange segments and (previously boiled) orange rind. The rind actually tasted great once it was steamed!


Here they are all ready to go in! And check out my strawberry apron. Laurita got it for me from Anthropologie Christmas 2008. I just love it!


Here is the before shot. The parchment paper did not get as brown as I thought it would get.


And after! We topped each portion with fresh cilantro and dill. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM. It really amazed me how perfectly tender the vegetables were, and then salmon filet (although lacking my favorite crispy crust) was so tender and moist and the sesame and orange flavor really elevated the flavor profile of this dish to a whole new level! All the components work so well together. I am 100% positive I will be making this again! Its very easy for a dinner party meal because you can make the packets early, stick them in the fridge to keep the fish cool, and then pop them in the oven and 18 minutes later you have a beautiful dish!


For dessert, I found a yogurt oatmeal cake that had some good winter spices (allspice, nutmeg, ginger) and so I paired that with the frozen confection I had in my freezer! Sherbet! The cake was pretty healthy (only 1 stick of butter for 12 portions!) and we had leftovers to eat with jam for breakfast!


Then we all bundled up and headed downtown for some drinks and dancing. (At NOLA of course!) I picked out that raspberry LLBean coat for christmas and loved it SO MUCH that grandma got Laurita the blue one! We looked so funny walking down the street with our matching puffy hoods.


Bethany and Kelly looked very festive and colorful also! I love having them visit! Girl’s weekends are the best!!!

Salmon with Leeks and Asparagus en Papillote

3 oranges
2 tsp sesame oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 leek, white part only, cut into thin strips
8 asparagus tips, cut in half (** We cut all the asparagus into 1 inch pieces and then in half!)
1 (5-6 oz) salmon fillets
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp chopped fresh dill

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2 Remove the zest of one orange in long strips and julienne; reserve the orange. Place the julienned strips of orange zest in a small pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Drain the zest and set aside.
3. Prepared the orange segments; cut slices off the top and bottom of the remaining 2 oranges and then slice away the peel and pith, top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit. Working over a bowl, using a small sharp knife, cut between the membranes to release the segments and juice all 3 oranges.
4. Cut four pieces of parchment paper into 12x 16 inch rectangles and brush the centers with sesame oil. Place one quarter of the carrots, leeks and asparagus in the center of the first piece of parchment and top with 1 salmon steak. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Add the orange segments, blanched orange peel, 1/4 tsp sesame oil and 1 tsp orange zest (you realize we just winged it here!) Seal the packet by bringing up the sides to the center and folding them down tightly. Seal the ends by folding each in tightly. Repeat with remaining ingredients, creating 4 packets!
5. Place the packets on a baking sheet and cook in the oven from 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven (the packets will be puffed and lightly browned) and allow to rest for 5 minutes before placing each packet on a plate and serving. Allow guests to open their packets and garnish with cilantro and dill!
Bon appetit!



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  1. Wow, that looks so good! Can’t wait for the recipe- I’d love to try it, since it sounds so delicious, and best of all, easy!! xox

    • yup! easy is where its at!!! Especially with busy jobs! Did you get a new one KT?

  2. OMG that looks tasty, yet healthy, yet tasty…. How does that work? I want to do the dancing at NOLA thing.

    • It just works!! And we will so go dancing at NOLA come the end of the month CBC at my house!!

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