Monday, March 8, 2010

Fish Fillet Dinner in Parchment

Recipe from Bon Appétit | April 2008
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

Cooking in parchment, otherwise known as "En papillote" (pronounced poppy yote,) gently steams the food in its own juices right inside the parchment paper package. The packages can be made individually and will have a real wow factor when entertaining because everyone gets his “food gift” to open at the table. When the packet is opened, the fragrance of what’s inside wafts up towards the diner’s nose making his mouth water with anticipation. There’s little clean up. Cooking in parchment is just fun plain to do. So, if you like to play with your food, give and receive gifts, give this a try at home.

4 (15x15-inch) squares parchment paper
Olive oil spray
1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 medium), sliced very, very thinly
4 (5-to 6-ounce) fish fillets (I used Pollock fillets. Tilapia, halibut or cod would work too.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
12 fresh tarragon leaves (I used fresh thyme sprigs.)
1 tablespoon butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces or 2 cups sugar snap peas
Zest of one orange (You could substitute lemon.)
4 tablespoons orange juice (about 2 small oranges) (You could substitute lemons.)

Preheat oven to 400°F with two sheet pans on the bottom and middle racks of the oven. (Be sure there’s enough room between racks for the packets to “puff” up.)

Place parchment squares on work surface. Spray half of each parchment piece. Divide the ingredients equally for the four parchment pieces. To make a packet, begin by layering the following on the sprayed half of each parchment piece. Layer the sliced potatoes and 1 fish fillet. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper; top each fillet with 3 herb sprigs, then 1 piece of butter, and then orange zest. Arrange asparagus or sugar snap peas on each fish fillet; sprinkle 1 tablespoon orange juice over each. Fold parchment over fish mixture, folding and crimping edges tightly to seal and enclose filling completely. (For directions with photos, go to ) Place on the 2 rimmed sheet pans, two packets on each sheet pan, spacing them apart.
Bake fish packets 17 minutes. Slide packets onto plates and serve.

Here are just a few other websites with information about cooking in parchment paper:

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