Thursday, April 25, 2013


 If you've never tried a recipe en papillote, don't be afraid! It's really easy. All you need is parchment paper to wrap your meat, vegetables and seasoning. It poaches together delivering a delicious surprise in a beautiful presentation. 

We enjoyed this dish in a restaurant last week. It was from their new spring menu--Grouper En Papillote with Fennel and Heirloom Tomatoes. It seemed perfect for the season—light and fresh with bright flavors. 

Fold  ~20'' x 14'' parchment paper in half (now 10 x 14). Cut a half heart shape, with center of full heart being the folded seam.

Put vegetables near fold leaving plenty of space around outside edge.  Add your fish, a little butter, more vegetables and seasoning.

Close with top of paper and begin sealing with little folds along the edge that would be the top of the heart.

When folds reach the end, twist the 'tail' to seal.  Place packets on a sheet pan and place in oven.

Grouper en Papillote
4 servings
3 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
zest from one lemon
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
8 plum tomatoes, half each, then cut each half into thirds
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
4 skinless fish filets, about 6-8 oz. each (flounder, tilapia or grouper)
4 sheets of parchment paper, each one about 20 inches long and 14 inches wide
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine the capers, dill, lemon zest and juice and shallots in a small bowl and set aside.
Fold parchment papers in half (now 10 x 14). Cut a half heart shape, with center of full heart being the folded seam.
Open the fold with tip of heart pointing right.
Spread one-fourth of the fennel slices near the fold, and top with six tomato pieces.
Now add about 2 teaspoons of the caper mix spreading evenly over vegetables.
Lightly salt fish on each side and lightly pepper one side. Place one filet on top of vegetables.
Top fish with 3 thin pieces of butter, another six pieces of tomato, and finish with 2 more teaspoons of caper mix.
To close parchment, begin on left side which would be the top of the heart, and make small folds overlapping each other, working towards the other end (tip of heart). When you have about two inches left, twist the parchment paper twice to seal. The finished packet will look a little like a fish.
Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Place parchment packets on sheet pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Remove packets to plate and serve immediately, piercing center of packet with a knife and then tearing to open.