Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fish in Papillote

This is the classic French preparation of fish in parchment. It is really easy to make, is relatively healthy, and inexpensive. The tri-fecta of dinner. It works well with most flaky fish. I used cod, but you could use halibut, sea bass, or snapper. Start by looking in the pantry. This is easily adaptable to what you have on hand. This night I had carrots, onion, and green onion available so that is what I went with. Think outside the box though. Zucchini, tomatoes, fennel, or just about any quick cooking vegetable will do. The trick is to cut the vegetables to the correct thickness so they all cook in the same amount of time. I thinly sliced the carrots. (Peel, then cut the carrots in 3 inch segments. Then slice one side to make it falt. With the flat side down, you can make thin planks. Then turn the planks over and make matchsticks.) I sliced the onion thicker and took green onions in chuncks. I also took a garlic clove and minced it. Why not?

I mixed the vegetables and added salt and pepper. I also took 4 Tbl of butter and added salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, and about 1/2 tsp of lemon zest. A fork will blend that up into a nice herbed butter.
Place 1/4 of the vegetables on a 6 x 6 square of tinfoil. I know, it is supposed to be fish in parchement, but I am not very good at origami. Foil keeps everything nice and sealed so everything steams and stays moist. I sprinkled about 2 tsp of vermouth over the vegetables to give it some harmony.
I took the cod and placed it on the vegetables. Then I spread 1/4 of the herbed butter on top of the fish.
I took another 6x6 sheet of foil and placed over everything. Roll up the sides creating a nice pouch that will keep the steam in. Bake in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. DON'T overcook it.
I opened the pouches and plated them. Then I topped it all with some lemon zest.

So not very "classic" but this is a very easy way to add your servings of vegetables and incorporate more fish in your diet. Don't make it the same way twice and it won't get boring.

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