Cooking this fish in a parchment pouch uses both the radiant heat of the oven and steam inside the packet to produce moist, succulent results. Toasting and grinding the spices takes a little extra time but pays off with vivid flavor. Total time: 45 minutes.
1 1/4 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
6 whole black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 whole star anise
1 (1 1/2-inch) cinnamon stick
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small skillet over medium heat; cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Transfer toasted spices to a spice grinder or coffee grinder; grind until fine.
Cut 4 (12-inch) squares of parchment paper. Place 1 fillet in center of each square. Sprinkle evenly with salt and spice mixture; top fillets evenly with leeks. Fold paper; seal edges with narrow folds. Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Place on plates; cut open. Serve immediately.
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