Monday, January 16, 2012

Fish en papillote + The Kitchen Counter Cooking School

I recently read a book called The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn, and I loved it.

This is the summary provided on her website:
"Inspired by a supermarket encounter with a woman loading up on processed foods, Kathleen Flinn decided to use her culinary training to help nine novice cooks find their cooking confidence. The Kitchen Counter Cooking School takes these lessons and provides practical, healthy tips to boost your culinary self-confidence, and strategies to get the most from your grocery dollars, as well as simple recipes to get you cooking."

The book is told as a narrative, but also contains lots of recipes along the way. I decided to try a wonderfully simple, delicious, and healthy recipe called "Fish en papillote" or fish in parchment paper.
I love this recipe because it is really flexible. You can basically use any type of fish, herbs, and vegetables you want. For mine I used atlantic char, which is similar to salmon, thyme, and zucchini, carrots, and garlic. I served mine with brown rice with herbs. It turned out great.

Fish en papillote

2 (10 x 12) inch pieces of parchment
2 (4 oz.) piece of fish or thinly sliced chicken breast
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
Few sprigs of fresh herbs (dill, basil, thyme, rosemary) or a ½ teaspoon dried
Splash of white wine, water, or chicken stock
Few thin lemon slices
Salt and pepper
About ½ cup of vegetable for flavor and garnish: shallots, onion, garlic, zucchini, carrot, broccoli, fennel, mushrooms, etc. each finely chopped or sliced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Fold each sheet in half and cut out a large heart. On one half of each paper heart, drizzle half the olive oil and add generous pinches of of salt and pepper. Add the fish and turn over to coat. Place herbs, lemon, wine and vegetables on top of the fish. Crimp the edges of the parchment or foil and shut carefully to avoid allowing any liquid or steam to escape from the package during cooking. Place the packages on a baking sheet and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to sit at least one minute, and then open carefully.

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