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Basic Lemon & Herb Fish en Papillote

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Serves 4

  • To learn more, read:
    Baking Fish in Paper
  • by Jay Harlow from Fine Cooking
    Issue 7

Foods cooked "en papillote"—in a paper bag—emerge succulent and saturated with flavor. As they bake, the steam causes them to puff up and when you cut into them, you are rewarded with a cloud of aromatic steam-the perfect way to bring a little drama to the dinner table. Gremolata, a simple but delicious mixture of parsley, lemon zest, and garlic minced together, will work with anything from trout or sole fillets to mackerel or bluefish.

  • 3 Tbs. chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. minced lemon zest
  • 4 scallions (both white and green parts)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 lb. fish fillet, in four equal portions
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. softened butter (optional)

Heat the oven to 450°F.

To make the gremolata, mince the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest together. Set aside.

Cut the scallions into 2-in. lengths and slice them lengthwise. Season the fish with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and spread the top with butter, if desired.

Divide the scallions among four sheets of parchment, top each with a portion of fish, and top the fish with a portion of gremolata. Seal the packages and bake on a sheet pan until puffy and browned, about 8 min.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on trout; Calories (kcal): 180; Fat (g): 8; Fat Calories (kcal): 68; Saturated Fat (g): 1; Protein (g): 24; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4; Carbohydrates (g): 3; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 65; Cholesterol (mg): 65; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Gary Junken

This recipe was great with 3/4 inch 0.5 lbs sea bass fillets cooked for ~ 13 minutes. Combine this with a Caesar salad recipe from Fine Cooking and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for a perfect Friday night dinner.

I did this with cod and the fish turned out very nicely - this is a great way to cook it. The gremolata didn't turn out as good, though - the lemon peel and garlic still tasted a little raw when the fish was cooked. Maybe if I do this again I'll cook the lemon and garlic down a little first.

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