Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cooking en papillote

"What?"  you say.  Cooking in what?? 

This is my favorite way to make fish that is too fragile to be grilled and not a good candidate for pan frying.  The other night I made halibut en papillote for dinner.  It's fun to do and impressive looking although very easy.

First I get out a couple sheets of parchment paper and turn the oven on hot (450ish).  Then I mix an egg white with a pinch of salt in a little bowl.  It will be my glue.

I dry off the fish fillets and lie each on its own parchment so that I can fold the parchment in two over the fish -- so the fish is just off center.  I sprinkle it with salt and pepper and add whatever strikes my fancy.  The other night it was a sprig of fennel and a drizzle of white wine.  Sometimes it's butter and lemon or thyme or .. whatever you like on fish.

Paint the edges of the parchment with the egg white mixture all the way around and then fold the parchment over the fish, sealing it with your fingers.  It will stick together nicely.  Then paint around the three folded sides and make another little fold - an inch or so wide.  Then repeat a third time.  You end up with a neat little packet full of fish and flavor.  Set your packets on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven.  It cooks fast, about 10 minutes per inch of thickness, and the fish is wonderfully tender and moist from the steam created in the packets.

When you take it out of the oven, the little packets are puffed up.  I set the packet in a shallow bowl or on a plate, cut one end open and slide the fish and broth out.  I slid ours on top of green beans and added a tomato that I had roasted with olive oil,  sea salt and pepper.

Voila!  Easy fast yummy dinner.  Pour a little wine and you're all set.  Bon appetit !


  1. That sounds delicious - I will definitely be trying that. And so gormet! I assumed this was a post from one of the fancy cooking blogs when I read it in Reader. Thank you!

  2. You are such a wiz in the kitchen!


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