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White Fish en Papillote

Basa en papillote

Welcome to 2010! Wow, what a year it’s been and what a year it will be. To me, the familiarity surrounding the year 2010 comes from the constant droning on on local news channels about the upcoming 2010 Vancouver Olympics. I am neither for or against the Olympics, merely a neutral observer. I do like to watch some events, but I can’t say the Olympics excite me as much as some people. Perhaps if I could have afforded the $1,700.00 tickets to a semi-final hockey game or something along those lines, I might be a little more excited. Having the Olympics in your backyard can be a blessing and a curse, for me it will neither. I will be one of many millions of people watching it on the boob tube, only wishing I could be there. Vancouver is going to be a gong show, and is (from what I hear) almost 99.9% sold out for accommodations. No one from Vancouver Island, without a ticket, in their right mind, will be traveling across the Georgia Straight to catch a glimpse, though my husband may say otherwise. In any case, for me and many British Columbians, this is our year in the spotlight!

I hope the year to come, for everyone of you, will be full of excitement, wealth, merriment, happiness and fulfillment. May you get all you ask for and more! Cheers!

I’m wringing in the New Year with a light, healthy and very delicious dish. The best part about this meal is it brings back those memories of the season with it’s almost whimsical opening of the present. You sit down in front of your plate, and what do you see? I package just for you, with nothing but good things inside. Many things can be cooked en papillote (which, literally translated, means “in greased paper”) and will usually turn out wonderfully steamed versions of your favourite dish with very little effort on your part. A lot of people have started to use aluminum foil, these days. I’m guessing the reason would be that most people have aluminum foil, compared to parchment paper, and aluminum foil is made in to a packet much easier. I much prefer the effect of the paper over aluminum, but I think I’m a bit of a purest when it comes to classic French cooking techniques.

Many flavours work well in this dish, so don’t be afraid to try it any way you like it. Italian, Japanese, Greek, Moroccan, Mexican, you name it, all these flavours will work!

White Fish en Papillote

2 Large pieces firm fleshed white fish (Basa, Halibut, Snapper, etc)
2 Large squares of parchment
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 stalk of lemongrass, roughly chopped
1/4-1/2 bunch of cilantro
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
12 grape tomatoes, halved
2 green onions, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

Basa en papillote
2. In a small bowl, mix the lemongrass, garlic, cilantro, sesame oil, fish sauce and soy sauce.

Basa en papillote
3. On parchment paper, place fish skin side down (if using halibut).
4. Sprinkle green onion and tomatoes over fish.

Basa en papillote
5. Pour sauce equally over fish and form packet with parchment, sealing at all sides.

Basa en papillote
6. Place on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes (more if you are using thick pieces of halibut).
7. To serve, place packets on plates and have guests rip open themselves. Fun and delicious!

Basa en papillote

Served with a side of in-season cruciferous vegetables, makes this a nice light, healthy dinner. I like to smother them in butter though. Enjoy and happy New Year!

Basa en papillote

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