Fish en papillote. French for fish "wrapped in foil." Or in this application... parchment paper. A little parcel of fish and veggies in the oven. Steaming in their own juices. A complete meal in a tidy little package... parcel.
Last night, I finished reading Dinner a Love Story It all begins at the family table by Jenny Rosenstrach which describes her challenge to establish a family ritual of sharing a meal together each day... despite working a full-time job outside the home, until a couple years ago, while raising two young children. First, her husband Andy and she established a time that they would leave work each evening. Emails, text messages, phone calls, unfinished projects... it would be there in the morning to tackle anew. She doesn't sugar coat her family's journey. She describes the challenges, alongside strategies, and offers encouragement. Because it's important. Throughout the book, she shares simple nutritious recipes to make it happen. A couple posts ago, I wrote about making baked zucchini fries from Jenny's book. These parchment wrapped fish and veggies parcels are just as easy and tasty.
Parchment Wrapped Fish and Veggies Parcels
¼ cup olive oil (I used 2 tbsp, but I think 4 tsp would be sufficient.)
few dashes red pepper flakes
4 fish fillets, such as gray sole, flounder, salmon,
tilapia, sea bass, or snapper (I chose tilapia.)
3 small potatoes, any kind except baking potatoes, unpeeled
and thinly sliced
1 lemon, sliced horizontally
½ medium red onion, or 1 shallot sliced
green veggies, simmered in salted water for a few minutes
(e.g., baby bok choy, asparagus spears or stemmed chopped kale) I used
broccoli. I think Swiss chard and slices of yellow summer squash and zucchini
would be good, too.
chopped fresh herbs (e.g., chives, parsley, cilantro)
sesame oil, optional
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400°. Pour the olive oil into a measuring cup (or custard dish) and add the red pepper flakes. (I found that adding red pepper flakes to the olive oil didn’t add flavor at all. Jenny said that you can use plain olive oil, too, if you want to avoid heat.) Lay down four 15x15-inch squares of parchment paper or foil and place 1 fish fillet on top of each sheet. Top each with a few slices of potato, lemon, onion, and desired veggies. Drizzle with spicy (?) olive oil. Top each pack with fresh herbs, a dash of sesame oil (optional), and salt and pepper. Wrap the parcels, as shown in my photo, to create a seal so the steam doesn’t escape. (A Google search will give you additional wrapping options.) Place the parcels on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. It’s hard to overcook the fish when steaming like this. Remove from oven. Be careful when unwrapping as the escaping steam is hot. Serve one parcel per person.