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Test Kitchen: Arrange, fold and serve - Fish en papillote a simple meal

By Jessica Rodrigo
Oct. 16, 2013 at 5:16 a.m.

The rainbow trout topped with lemon slices and resting on a bed of mustard greens before being enclosed in some parchment paper. The parchment paper will keep all the juices with the fish and cook the greens at the same time. It's like a Crock-Pot but not.

FISH EN PAPILLOTE

• 1 fillet of fish of your choice, skin optional

• 1/2 lemon, sliced thinly; save the other half for juice

• 1 clove of garlic, minced or sliced thinly

• 1/2-1 cup spinach or greens of choice

• 2 tsp. dry white wine

•  A few pats of butter

•  Salt and pepper to taste

•  Parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Portion enough parchment paper to enclose the fish and crimp the edges together- the length of the parchment paper and about 8 to 9 inches is good to start. Fold the paper in half to get an idea of where to place the fish. Season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides and set aside. Make a bed of greens up against the crease in the paper and then season lightly with salt and pepper and sprinkle garlic on top. Lay the fish on top of the bed of greens. If the fillet is too long, then cut it in half. Arrange a few slices of lemon on top of the fish and layer the other half on top and arrange with lemon slices. Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice on the fish and top with 1-2 pats of butter. Fold over the paper and begin crimping the edges together around the pouch, leaving a small gap to pour in the white wine. Pour in the wine and then seal the pouch completely. Place the pouch on a sheet pan. Turn the heat down to 325 and put pan on the middle rack and cook for about 18-25 minutes. The thicker the fish, the longer it will take to cook. Once the fish is cooked, remove pan from oven and let stand for about 5 minutes before opening the pouch. Cutting an "X" across the top creates a stunning presentation; uncrimping the edges will work as well. Serve hot with a side of choice or alone.

Can't make it? go get it.

Red Lobster (Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables cooked in a parchment bag)

ADDRESS: 7404 Zac Lentz Parkway, Victoria

PHONE: 361-572-4051

WHEN: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday

The ability to lock in moisture when cooking seafood is key. Cooking with parchment paper is a wonderful crutch for doing just this.

Parchment paper not only aids in keeping our baked goods from clinging to the sides of a pan or a dish but can also ensure you've got a juicy fish whether you're cooking it whole, as a steak or filleted.

What makes this so easy is that the paper turns into the vessel in which all the ingredients can get to know each other. There are many combinations to try, so grab a package of fresh fish and try it for dinner. It's quick and can be prepped ahead of time.

Lemon and fish are a match made in the kitchen heavens. Sliced lemons are an easy way to transfer flavor to fish and a splash of white wine - or a lager - will keep it moist. A pat of butter will enrich the fish, because fish is not a very fatty protein. Don't be afraid of the butter here. It's a beautiful thing.

You can serve it all one pocket of parchment paper, so cleanup is also a breeze. Lay the fish on top of whatever vegetables you have in the fridge and serve with rice, roasted potatoes (which can be done at the same time in the oven as your fish). But be sure to choose vegetables that require around the same cooking time; you don't want to pair broccoli with turnip since the turnip will take longer to cook.

Get adventurous and try different herbs and seasoning. And remember, you can do this all a few nights ahead of time and just pop them in the oven when you're hungry.

Have a recipe or a dish you want me to test? Email jrodrigo@vicad.com or tweet @EatsEatsEats. I'm always hungry.

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