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  Fish en Papillote

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Vegetables, chicken and firm, white fish will all benefit from this delicate, simple and elegant method. By varying the herbs, spices, etc. a multitude of different dishes can be created each time.

En papillote is a moist heat cooking method that, when used to cook fish, will create a moist, flaky, fully-cooked filet each time. Plus, it offers a little bit of drama at the dinner table as the steamy packages are split open for your guests.

Since no liquid is added, the steam produced by baking en papillote is from the food itself - concentrating the flavors in the puffed-up dome of the parchment paper package.

For each serving of Fish en Papillote:
1 firm, white fish filet
(or two if using a smaller fish like trout)

Drizzle of olive oil

Coarse, French sea salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme

3-4 thin lemon slices

14-inch piece of baking parchment

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Trim and remove skin from fish (if necessary). Fold parchment in half and holding the folded edge, trim the outer open edges to a half-moon shape (this will ensure you do not have any corners to fold and that the steam created in baking will stay inside the parchment and steam the fish).

Place fish filet inside the parchment - close to the folded seam. Drizzle a lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Top with slices of lemon and thyme. Shut parchment packet and crimp edges shut. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven for 8-10 minutes.

To serve, place on plate and cut open at the table allowing guests to enjoy the aromas of the escaping steam.

Copyright 2006.