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.

Before.
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After.
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We paired this lemony, rosemary-y salmon with steamed veggies. And it was perfect.
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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.
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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
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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.

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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 about.com

– 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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