Salmon en Papillote + Merlot + Blaak Cheese + Chocolate

= YUM!

Since Blair and I both had awesome workouts on Friday, we decided to treat ourselves with an indulgent post-workout at home dinner (in pajamas).

I put some salmon in the fridge to thaw before I left for work in the morning. We have a go-to salmon marinade that we usually use, but we were out of soy sauce and I wanted to try something different. We quickly decided to try salmon en papillote. OMG.
I don’t even know how to express how easy, beautiful, fast, and flavorful this dinner was. All I can do is try, and recommend that you make this dinner soon! I found a recipe that we followed pretty closely, since the was our first try, but now we know that this recipe can easily be modified to suit our moods.


We paired this lemony, rosemary-y salmon with steamed veggies. And it was perfect.
We chose an amazing Barboursville Merlot that wouldn’t be too strong for the salmon but would also go well with our post-dinner cheese plate. It was a success (super easy to finish). The merlot was smooth and mild, a perfect red for my taste. Of course, before the cheese plate, we had to have some chocolate with our wine. Rule #1: Eat dessert whenever possible.

Have you heard of Brix Chocolates? No? Click this link and buy a sampler. It’s well worth your money! According to their story, a doctor got tired of pairing his awesome wine with mediocre chocolate. So he made his own. He was spot on. The pairing notes from our sampler recommend pairing merlot with a mild dark chocolate. So we did. OMG#2.
I’m always fascinated when something so simple (complex?) as chocolate can change the flavor of something else (WINE!). We split 1 piece of chocolate but should have each had our own. Lesson learned. 🙂

Okay, on to the cheese. I instantly fell in love with the Beekman Boys when I first saw their tv show way back when. But I found a whole new level of awe when I bought my first wheel of Blaak Cheese last summer. It was so good that I ordered a second wheel last fall. And another this summer.20120908-191247.jpg
OMG#3. Blaak is a 60:40 mix of goat and cow’s milk aged and coated in vegetable ash. Hence, Blaak. The ash is edible and although I was a skeptic, it really makes the cheese what it is. Each season, the Beekman Boys release a condiment to accompany the cheese. It is a must! This season’s is the absolute best! It’s a balsamic vinegar, fig, and elderberry drizzle and it is fantastic. The cheese with the drizzle melts and tastes like… OMG. It cannot be put into words.

By the end of the meal and the bottle of wine, we were super content and ready to relax. I honestly can’t think of a better at home meal that we’ve had. Food win.

Salmon en Papillote
Serves 2. Adapted from

– 2 salmon filets
– 1 teaspoon olive oil
– 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
– 1 lemon, sliced
– 1 sprig rosemary, halved
– 1 potato, cooked and thinly sliced
– Salt + pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Cut 2 large pieces of parchment paper into heart shapes. Place salmon just off midline of parchment paper. Salt + pepper. Top each piece with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and 3 pieces of butter. Add rosemary sprigs and cover with lemon slices. Add potato slices to the side of salmon. Wrap up in parchment paper, place on cookie sheet, bake ~15 minutes. Unwrap and savor.


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