Salmon – just in time for fall!

Ok, so it isn’t the most “seasonal” of meals – in fact, between farm-raised and line-caught, you can find good salmon year ’round just about everywhere.

But this recipe combines this healthy, flavorful fish with the fall bounty of apples. It’s a lean, tasty dish that’s quick to the table.

APPLE-BALSAMIC SALMON
Serves 4

4, 4oz. boneless, skinless salmon fillets, about 3/4″ thick
1/4-1t sea salt
1/4C apple jelly
2t good quality balsamic vinegar*
3/4C matchstick-cut unpeeled Granny Smith apple
3/4C matchstick-cut unpeeled Gala or Fuji apple
1/3C very thinly sliced and quartered leek, white and light green parts only
Course-ground black pepper
4, 12″ long pieces of parchment paper**

Preheat the oven to 450. Fold each piece of paper crosswise in half. Cut 4 half-heart shapes 7″ longer and 4″ wider than the fillets (the fold edges will be the centers of the hearts). Open each paper heart; set aside.

Lightly sprinkle the salmon with 1/4t salt. Place each fillet near the center on one side of each heart.

Heat the apple jelly over low heat or in the microwave oven just until melted. Remove from heat; stir in the balsamic vinegar. Spoon this mixture evenly over the fish. Toss together the apple and leek, then place evenly over the top of the fillets.

Fold the opposite side of each heart up and over the fish and apple mixture. Starting at the top of the heart, fold the edges and seal the open sides by making small, tight folds. Twist tip of hearts to close each packet. Place the packets on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Place each packet on a dinner plate at the table. Very carefully, cut open each packet at the table, being careful of the escaping steam.

I like to serve this over a timbale (think the culinary equivalent of a 2oz shot glass) of rice and a steamed vegetable.

Expect applause.

* If your balsamic vinegar contains caramel or other coloring, it isn’t good quality.

** You can usually find this in the average supermarket where you find the wax paper. If you substitute aluminum foil for the parchment, you can easily freeze this dish to eat later.

Calories: 300, Protein: 23g, Sodium: 70mg, Satfat: 3.5g, Carbs: 18g

Recipe, courtesy USAA.

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All rights reserved, 2012.

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