Many years ago, working my way through college as a pastry chef at a trendy, busy high profile restaurant, the chef would make fresh fish en papillote for me. One day I asked how it was made and have never been the same. It’s surprisingly easy to make. The parchment paper makes the fish bake so tasty and juicy. You can put any herbs, spices, or veggies you have on hand in with it and it turns out amazing. Even basic things in the fridge will turn out tasting gourmet in the parchment. Cut out a large heart shape of parchment paper or use parchment paper baking bags. Butter the inside of the paper, then place the fish and toppings on half and seal it up by folding tight. You can use any fish you like. I used halibut for this dish.
Mediterranean Fish en Papillote:
Makes two packages.
- 1 six-ounce fillet of halibut per parchment package-everyone gets an individual package
- 2 Tablespoons black pepper or salt free Greek seasoning per package
- 6 small olives each package, pitted
- 3 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese in each package
- 2 Tablespoons red onion, each package
- 2 mushrooms sliced, (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon each of fresh marjoram, thyme and tarragon for each package
- 1 Tablespoons capers for each package
- 2 Tablespoons butter to place on top the fish before sealing the package
- Juice of 1 lemon for each package
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut a heart shape off an 18-inch long piece of parchment paper, fold it in half, unfold, and place it on a rimmed baking sheet or baking pan.
- Butter half of the parchment. Place the fish on top, and season well with pepper or Greek seasoning.
- Scatter the olives, feta, capers, onion and mushrooms, if using. Sprinkle with the herbs and dot with butter.
- Now, seal up the pouch: Fold the parchment over on top of the fish. Starting at the top inner corner, fold and crimp the edges approximately every quarter-inch, until you’ve created a half-moon. Be sure the folds are well-creased, to keep the steam from pushing the pouch open in the oven.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (12 for thin fillets, 15 for thicker ones). Slide the packets directly onto the plates, and slice a cross pattern on the top of the paper, open carefully—there will be a lot of steam inside. Slide into a dish or large bowl. The fish will be flaky and tasty inside. Enjoy it alone or with tzatziki sauce(Greek yogurt, pureed cucumber and minced garlic).