OK, this is the first journal entry I’m actually going to post since the 19th of January. (I have a lot of drafts that I will try to get back to.) I was really excited about this dinner b/c it was a technique I had never tried before, and it worked wonderfully! Brother B doesn’t like eating meat, but he’s good with fish. Plus, he just bought a microwave – a first for Mom’s kitchen, where he is not living and taking care of her. So I thought maybe microwaving fish would be a good dinner idea for him to learn – and me, too! I took inspiration from several online recipes, plus one video that I will link when relevant.
I went to the Giant, and found pieces of salmon fillet, already skinned, for $4.99. I originally thought they were about 1/2 pound each but now I think they may have been smaller. Anyway, they were perfectly sized as single servings. Giant seems just to call them “portions,” so I guess it’s not surprising they were the right size, except that I usually find other people’s “portions” much too big.
The fish guy at the Giant kindly provided the requested bag of ice so I could carry the fish home on the bus without concern. I was aghast, though, when – I mean, here there was all this unwrapped fresh fish – instead of pulling out a roll of (compostable!) butcher paper, he put the fish onto a styrofoam tray and wrapped it in plastic wrap! Argh! Giant! Change this!! Well, it was good fish, anyway, and I thought the price reasonable.
I’m writing this up as a recipe for one, which is sort of what we did. In the tiny microwave, only one portion fit at a time, so practically speaking, we cooked two separate meals anyway. Alternate suggestions or revisions are in brackets.
- one portion (1/3 lb perhaps?) salmon fillet [or other fish],
- enough zucchini [or other veggie – broccoli, mushrooms, maybe onion?] to fill about 1 cup when sliced
- a roll of kitchen parchment paper. Ours was perhaps 15″ wide – could have been 18″.
- Herbs: dried dill [or fresh; brother B suggested lemon, which would have been great].
- a microwave-safe dish large enough for the fish to lie more or less flat
- white wine, if desired (alt: water, stock)
B cooked us 2 servings of Uncle Ben’s rice, according to the directions, and this was an excellent addition, as it sopped up the juices from the fish packet. If having rice, start the rice first, and start microwaving the fish when the rice is cooked and turned off, and sitting for its 5ish minute rest before eating.
Cut a piece of parchment 15″ – 18″ long or so (i.e. for us, approximately square). [You can gently push the center of the parchment down into the dish if you like, or do it later and start with the paper on a flat surface.] Place the fish in the center of the parchment, and salt and pepper it. I used a pinch of salt, and thought that was not enough. Slice the veggies thin, so they cook quickly. Strew the veggies over the fish. Salt the veggies. Add any herbs you want to use (the dill in the picture could have been increased 4x or 5x, as it turns out). Now, if you have been setting this up on a flat surface, move the parchment so that it sits in the microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle in up two Tbsp white wine (water or stock will work also). The liquid is the only part that needs to post-date the placement in the dish.
Bring together two edges of the parchment, both pointing upward, as though you were going to carry the fish in a sling. Roll the edges down towards the fish to make a gentle seal (to keep in steam). Then roll in the ends of the parchment in, possibly tucking them under the fish, to complete the packet.
Microwave on high 3 minutes. Leave unopened another three minutes. I placed the packet on my dinner plate (actually a lunch-sized plate) and held the fish and veggies in place while slipping the paper out from under them. This worked well, and left quite a bit of liquid on the plate, which was nicely sopped up by the rice. It was a delicious meal!
We had a Chateau Ste. Michelle chardonnay with this, which B had bought (liked it a lot when I pulled out a bottle last week) and I thought it went very well. We used 1/4 cup from the bottle for our two fish packets before drinking a substantial fraction of the rest of it.