Easy Cooking Techniques Every 20-Something Should Know

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When it comes to cooking protein, we admit we can get a little intimidated. There are so many different culinary terms, hot grills, open flames, and marinades galore. Does it really have to be that hard? You know what? It really doesn't! Here we present Foodiversity: Protein 101 to help demystify cooking the perfect protein. Want to get comfortable fixing up foolproof salmon, steak, chicken, shrimp, and tofu? We got you covered. Also, never feel stumped by fancy-sounding cooking terms again. Just be sure to throw them around when you're whipping up the perfect protein for your friends.

How To Steam Salmon

Photographed by Eric Helgas, Styled by Ali Nardi
In the cooking world, there are a lot of fancy terms that actually mean very basic things. For example, cooking fish "en papillote" (a.k.a. in parchment paper) just means that you are steaming the fish in a little, sealed paper pocket. It's a great way to retain the flavor and delicacy of any given fish. The best part? Cleanup is minimal. Here, we used our favorite fish, salmon, as an example. Wrap up some salmon with a sprinkle of olive oil and herbs, throw in a hot oven, and you'll have your dinner ready in just 10 minutes. It can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold. This recipe is also easily multiplied for more servings.

Salmon Cooked In Parchment

Serves 1

Ingredients:

Salmon
1 salmon fillet, about 6-8 ounces
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp olive oil

Dijon Mustard Mayonnaise
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp finely chopped fresh dill

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a 12-inch square; fold the square in half to form a triangle and then trim the corners to form a big heart with the fold in the middle.

2. Place the parchment heart on a baking sheet and place the fish fillet on one side of it.

3. Sprinkle the salmon with dill and salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

4. Fold the parchment heart in half. Starting at top of the heart, fold the edges together, an inch or so at a time. At the tip of the heart, fold the parchment under to seal.

5. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Use a knife to open the pouch and serve the salmon with Dijon mustard mayonnaise.

6. To make the Dijon mustard mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, and dill in a mixing bowl.