Fish en Papillote or Fish in Parchment Paper

This recipe is such an easy one. But it looks so fancy it will make you look like a professional chef. I mean just the sound of it. Fish en Papillote. Really it is just the French way to say "wrapped in parchment". But it sounds much more romantic in French right? This is a perfect date night meal. The fish and veggies all cook together in their little parchment paper envelopes, it makes for a beautiful presentation. Just add some wine, candles, and WALA it's a date!

I have made this recipe in different versions with different fish several times. I love the fact that the fish steams with the vegetables in one neat little package with whatever you chose to include. I used thyme as my herb, but you could do this with salmon and use dill, or chives, or tarragon they are all so good! You can also mix the vegetables up using asparagus, summer squash, etc..Then when you are done....clean up is easy peasy lemon squeezy!

You can use foil instead of parchment paper but you will have to leave out anything acidic such as lemon, wine, etc... they will react with the metal of the foil and make the meal taste awful. Parchment is supper easy once you get the hang of folding it into the "envelope" and pssstttttt don't tell, but I cheat a bit by using a paper clip to seal the very end. Just make sure to use your hot pad holder to remove that hot clip when you take the fish out of the oven!

Fish en Papillote

1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, julienned
1 large carrot, julienned
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling over the veggies
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
4 (6 ounce) white fish fillets such as sole, snapper, flounder (I used Ling Cod)
1 lemon, thinly sliced
several sprigs of fresh thyme (you could use dill, chives, or tarragon too)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
Dry white wine

Preheat oven to 375 degees F

In a bowl mix together the onion, zucchini, carrots, and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine.

Salt and pepper the fish fillets and set aside.

Tear off 4 large squares of parchment paper. Place a handful of the vegetable mixture on the parchment paper, then top with 1 of the fish fillets. Top fish with 2 slices of lemon, a pat of butter, several stems of thyme, and drizzle a couple tablespoon of white wine over it all. Fold parchment paper over the fish to meet the edges together. Begin folding the paper around the edges tightly in 1/4 inch folds to create a half moon shape. Make sure you press as you fold the paper to get a tight seal to keep the steam from escaping. When you come to the end fold the piece under (this is when I use the paper clip).Arrange the packets on a baking sheet. Bake until the fish is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish fillets.

To serve, cut open the packets with a small X in the center and carefully tear the paper open in triangles and place directly on a plate.


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