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Foil-packet salmon with balsamic pepper sauce and roasted lemon broccoli

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With under a half-hour in which to get dinner on the table, you could try ordering out. But it wouldn't arrive in time. Or you could run to the store for a rotisserie chicken, etc. But you'd have no time to eat. Instead, take a one-pound (or a bit more) salmon filet, place it in an oiled foil- packet with lemon, and cook it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for twenty minutes with a few crowns of broccoli. A lightly-peppered balsamic sauce tops the fish at table. For those with big appetites, throw sweet potatoes in the microwave while the salmon cooks. Cook the potatoes 4-5 minutes each and 2-3 minutes more for each additional potato.

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Not only is dinner then served, but dinner is luscious, nutritious, and gave you time to read the paper with your feet up while it cooked. Who could ask for more? Want to sing a Girl Scout camp song since you're cooking foil dinners? Fine. And, well, an Oregon Pinot Noir would be nice, eh? Candles? Ok. I'm done.

Foil-Packet Salmon and Roasted Lemon Broccoli serves 3-4

Ingredients needed are in bold print.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place 4-6 large broccoli crowns in a glass container with 1T water. Cover and microwave at full power for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Place a 1 - 1 1/4# salmon filet on approximately 2' sheet of aluminum foil ( brushed with olive oil.) on a sheet pan. Make sure you have enough foil to cover and seal the fish completely and tightly.
  4. Drizzle 1T olive oil over salmon and dust with 1/2 t kosher salt and 1/4 t crushed mixed peppercorns. Lay slices of lemon (4 or 5) on top of salmon.
  5. Fold up aluminum foil on all sides and seal tightly. Move packet to side of sheet pan to make room for the broccoli.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, toss broccoli crowns with 1T olive oil and dust generously with salt and pepper. Add broccoli to sheet pan around the foil packet.
  7. Place sheet pan with fish and broccoli in pre-heated oven and roast for about 20 minutes until fish is firm, but still moist.
  8. Meantime, in a small sauce pan, stir together 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup white wine (or chicken broth), a teaspoon of honey, a pinch of aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper) and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 5-7 minutes, watching carefully, and adding more wine or broth if sauce becomes too thick. Squeeze in 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice and stir. Remove from heat, pour into small pitcher and reserve.
  9. To serve, divide fish into 3-4 portions, place on serving plates and add a broccoli crown or two to each.
  10. Drizzle broccoli with a bit of fresh lemon juice.
  11. Add microwaved sweet potato, if desired.
  12. Pass balsamic sauce at table.
  13. Time to stop singing Kum Ba Yah while you eat.

For more info:

About cooking those sweet potatoes

I'm scared about cooking fish. When is it done?

Eating fish in St. Paul. At restaurants, I mean.