Ok, so it’s not a bag it’s a piece of parchment paper, but you get the idea. I hate dieting and worrying about how much fat and calories are in each thing I eat, but on the other hand swimming is a lot more fun when you’re wearing a bathing suit. Due to this dilemma, I’m constantly looking for ways to create healthy, if not healthier than normal, food that doesn’t taste like, well, diet food. I believe that flavor should never be sacrificed, and never has to be. What comes to mind when I mentioned steamed fish and vegetables? Bland, mushy and boring. I’m here to change that!
Here’s a recipe for sole cooked “en papillot,” which means “in parchment.” This dish is literally cooked in a pouch made of parchment paper. This cooking technique seals everything in, so while your fish and vegetables are cooking they are absorbing flavor, not losing it.
Tile Fish en Papillot with Spring Vegetables & Meyer Lemon Butter
Serving Size: 2
Time: 20-30 Minutes
Difficulty Level: Easier than making a paper snowflake
– 2 pieces of parchment paper
– An oven
– A baking sheet
– A pair of scissors
– A knife
– A cutting board
– 2 small mixing bowls
– A pastry brush (if you don’t have one you can use your hands)
– 2 6oz filet of tile fish, skin removed
– 6 fingerling potatoes, thinly sliced
– 6 asparagus, julienned*
– 1 leek, just the white part, washed well and julienned*
– 1 large or 2 small carrots, julienned*
– 1 meyer lemon, zested and juiced
– 2 tbs. butter, melted and cooled (or olive oil** if you really are committed to that whole “healthy” thing)
– Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 450۫.
Fold each piece of parchment paper in half. Then cut it into a heart shape (see photo). You want to make the heart as big as possible, as this is the only surface area you will have to place all of your ingredients.
Mix the butter together with the lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix together all julienned vegetables.
Open your heart so that one side lays flat on the table; this is where you will assemble your dish, the other side will become the top of the pouch. Lay the potatoes on the parchment, starting as close to the crease as possible. Season with salt and pepper. Place the fish on top, followed by the julienned vegetables. Drizzle the lemon butter on top, saving a tiny bit to brush on top of the parchment paper before baking. **If using olive oil, drizzle olive oil over fish, followed by lemon juice and zest.
Now for the fun part! Fold your heart over so the sides touch (see photos) Starting at the top, make a crease, folding in towards the heart, so that no liquid will be released during cooking. Continue this process, remembering to keep folding in. If you’re doing it right, it should make a natural semi circle and look a bit like shingles. When you get to the bottom of the heart, fold your last piece under to keep the entire pouch secure while cooking.
Finally, brush (or use your finger) the rest of the butter mixture on the top of the parchment paper so it doesn’t burn in the oven.
Bake until the pouch has puffed up, about 10-15 minutes. To serve, put the entire pouch directly on a plate, and cut open with scissors when ready to serve. Easy to make/easy to clean up, what kind of a dinner is better than that? Oh yeah, and it tastes delicious. So next time, ditch the frozen bag of peas that get cooked in a plastic bag in the microwave and take 20 minutes to create your own steamed dinner. Your body and taste buds will thank you!