Fish en Papillote (in presents)

Fish en Papillote (in presents)

I like fish. I really do. The problem is not everyone in my home shares the same feeling. I have been told that my salmon recipe(s) are some of the very best anyone has ever had (I promise to share soon), at least at home.

I grew up fishing for trout in Eastern Washington and my mom would buy cod or snapper and we would sometimes have it at home (I think stewed in tomato sauce but don’t quote me and she isn’t here to ask).

One of the highlights of my childhood was the all-you-can-eat fish and chips at Skipper’s. When we worked really hard, usually after we helped dad cut, split, stack and deliver fire wood, we would get a treat and get fish and chips. We may have been those people who went back several times at the end so we could take it home with us. Oops.

My folks have always been big fans of fish and chips too. Besides Skipper’s, they didn’t discriminate and ordered at Zip’s, and even the famous Spokane-area Dick’s.

I have made lots of fish and chips too, especially after we caught all of that rockfish near Westport a few years back.

Oh, I make some pretty killer fish tacos too.

So we have tried many variations and frankly I like almost all of them but one of my most favorite ways to prep fish, especially any white fish, is fish en papillote, which is French for “fish in presents.” Why? Well because they are wrapped so nicely in parchment paper and look like little presents!

The neat thing about this recipe is that you can make virtually anything. Anything you can find in your fridge that may taste good with fish and follow the same base “recipe.”

You can make it Asian by adding some soy, hoisin, sesame oil, bok choy, etc.

You can make it French by adding potatoes, herbs, lemon, and maybe even a dollop of cream.

You can make it Baja Mexican but sprinkling chili powder, lime and cilantro.

The trick is actually quite simple. When you fold the parchment, it traps the steam as you bake the fish and makes everything super simple and super delicious, and pretty darn healthy too.

Fish en Papillote

Olive oil
Fish (sole, cod, rockfish, tilapia, halibut, snapper, salmon)
Salt and pepper

This is the base. Here is where you can waiver. Add different veg (bok choy, red onion, spinach, thinly spliced potato, mushrooms, herb (thyme, tarragon, basil, chervil), spice (sesame oil, soy, chili powder, red pepper flakes) whatever you want.

Wrap like a present. How? Let me try. Place all ingredients in center of parchment paper (around 12 x 12) with a little oil on bottom. Stack as you wish. Bring tops to the center and carefully fold accordion style until you have about 1/2 inch to the top of the meal. Carefully fold the sides accordion as well and then carefully tuck under. You don’t need egg wash, water or anything. It will trap the steam and carefully and delicately cook your fish.

Bake in oven at 400 for about 20-30 minutes. Unwrap and enjoy. Did I mention it was an easy clean up too?


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