Tilapia En Papillote
Continuing with Endeavor Conference menu, my friend and I chose fish en papillote (fr. pah-pee-YOHT; PAH-peh-loht) to be served for an elegant sit-down meal. This is very fun way to serve steamed fish, especially to a group of young ladies who may not have experienced a lot of fine dining.
I chose Tilapia because it is inexpensive, mild white fish, but you can use salmon, grouper, mahi or just about any fish that fancies you, even shrimp and other shell fish.
There are many ways to can form parchment bag to enclose the fish. Here we folded the parchment paper in half and cut into a semi-oblong shape (about 6 inches in radius). Idea is to completely seal the fish and veggies without having any liquid escaping while baking.
Get your veggies ready. Julienne tri-colored peppers, onions, and fresh Italian parsley are just some of the options. Asparagus tips, fennel bulbs, leeks, or potatoes can be added to your parchment bag. Make sure your veggies are cut thinly so they will be cooked tender within 10 minutes in the oven along with the fish.
I made simple lemon butter with lemon zest, garlic, and salt and pepper. Butter will melt and flavor the fish while baking. Lay the fillet on one side of folded edge in the middle of paper, layer the veggies and fold over the paper.
Beginning from one edge, double fold the paper and crimp tightly to seal the open side. Sealed packets can be done up to two hours prior to baking.
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes. Parchment parcel will balloon beautifully as the steam fills it. Using scissors, cut an "x" on top of parchment before you take them to the table.
At the table, gently peel back the parchment packets for the diners. Your guests will gasp with delight at a wonderful sight and smell. And you will be elevated to Food Goddess status, well almost. Serve with your favorite rice or potato dish.
Fish En Papillote
Parchment Paper, cut into 8-12 inch oblong shape (fold in half and cut)
8 fillets of fish, 5 to 8 oz
Julienne veggies : sweet peppers, onions, zucchini, or your favorite veggies
1/4 of fresh herbs: dill, basil, parsley
Fresh ground pepper to taste.
1 stick of salted butter, softened
Fresh lemon zest from one lemon
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves of garlic, grated
a pinch of dried thyme
Combine all lemon butter ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Rinse fish and dry well with paper towel. Lay the fillet on one side of folded line of parchment. Top with a tablespoon of lemon butter, then with julienne veggies. Fold over the parchment and completely sealed the open edges together, double fold and crimping as you go.
Lay the packets on a baking sheet for 10-12 minutes for thin fillets, 15-17 minutes for thick fillets such as salmon, mahi, or grouper.
Cut a small "x" carefully on top of packet. And serve immediately, peeling back the packets for the diners. Serve with your favorite rice or potato side dish.