A typical Friday night dinner in our home is something like this:
Julia’s Salmon Fillet en Papillote with
Shallots and Tomato
Yield: 1 fillet, serving 1
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, soft
1 skinless salmon fillet, 6 to 8 ounces
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon very finely minced shallots (or scallions)
1/2 cup diced fresh tomato garnish
Whole leaves of flat-leaf parsley, about a dozen
Special equipment: A sheet of parchment paper,
about 20 inches by 15 inches; a cookie sheet
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Smear the butter in the very center of the parchment paper.
Season each side of the salmon with a big pinch of salt and several grinds
of pepper, and lay the salmon, its most attractive side up, on the buttered
area of the paper.
Mix the minced shallots and tomato together and spread on top of the
salmon fillet. Scatter the parsley leaves over and around the fish.
Lift the shorter (15-inch) sides of the parchment so the edges meet right
above the salmon, like a tent. Fold over several times, then fold the sides
together. Crimp the folds tightly with your fingers, or use several pins at
the end to seal the package completely.
Set the package on the cookie sheet and bake 8 minutes for a fillet less
than an inch thick, or 10 minutes for a thick fillet 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick.
To serve, carefully transfer the package to a dinner plate, remove the pins
if you have used them, and simply unfold or cut the parchment open. If
you’d rather remove the package before eating, cut or tear the paper
alongside the fillet, and slide the fish right onto the plate.
Roasted Asparagus by Ina Garten
2 pounds fresh asparagus
Good olive oil
Kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they're thick, peel them. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 25 minutes, until tender but still crisp.
Provencal Potato Gratin
4 large clove garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 red pepper, peeled, seeded and diced (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
2 pounds Yukon gold or other waxy potatoes (about 4 to 5), peeled
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 pound plum tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Rub 1 of the garlic cloves all over the inside of a large 1 1/2 quart oval casserole dish. Smear some of the olive oil all over the inside of the dish. Mince the rest of the garlic.
Heat the rest of the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and pepper, season with the salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the vermouth and simmer to reduce by about half.
Using a mandoline or vegetable slicer, slice the potatoes about 1/8-inch thick and add them to the pan with the water, salt, pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the basil.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and shake the pan to distribute the potatoes evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the tomatoes about a 1/4-inch thick and arrange them in a shingled pattern on top of the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender about 1 1/2 hours. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake until brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let casserole cool 10 minutes before serving. This can also be served at room temperature.