Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fish En Papillote with Baja Spices

I know the name sounds fancy but it's simply "fish in parchment". I say that now having made fish en papillote, but before that I was terrified of any recipe requiring parchment paper. For some reason I associated parchment paper with French cooking and French cooking with complex, difficult, and ultimately aggravating recipes. Well, I could not have been more wrong. About this recipe, anyway. Cooking fish in parchment is not only easy, its quick, a cinch to clean, and produces soft, succulent fish. Especially when using a non-oily fish such as snapper, sole, or ocean perch, creating a steam bath promises the fish won't dry out or become tough (two occurrences I've experiences a number of times.)

The beauty of this recipe is you can use any spice combo you like. The spices below are fantastic as is a mixture of turmeric, coriander, fresh ginger and garlic, or lime zest, garlic, cumin and chili flakes. Enjoy!


Fish En Papillote with Baja Spices

1 pound red snapper fillets, rinsed and patted dry (you can also use cod, ocean perch, or any other firm fleshed white fish)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin, ground
1/2 tsp. oregano, fresh or dried
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and get out a large baking dish. Cut two pieces of parchment to fit the baking dish. Mix together garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt in a small bowl. Place one piece of parchment into the dish and lay the fish on the parchment. Sprinkle spices over the fish and cover the fish with the second piece of parchment. Bring the edges of the parchment pieces together and fold under to enclose the fish.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. Be sure to open the package carefully to let the steam escape. Serve with corn tortillas and guacamole or with steamed quinoa and gingered slaw.


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