I was on a roll with cooking food en Papillote, or “in parchment” style, that I did two dishes in one evening for dinner. Previously I had made a Tomato Basil Sauce with Polenta, and while I was researching that recipe, I also found a recipe for Halibut cooked en Papillote with summer vegetables and tomatoes. In the Halibut recipe, cherry tomatoes are actually baked in the oven and reduced to a sauce before it’s added to the raw fish parcels. This is because the tomato sauce takes longer to break down and cook correctly than the fish, so they need to be cooked separately.

I thought instead of cooking another tomato sauce, I just use extras from my tomato basil sauce that I made with the polenta, which worked out pretty well. This recipe is also pretty quick and easy, and requires little clean up.

The recipe calls for the halibut to be half cooked, seared in a hot pan, and then wrapped in parchment and cooked. The only reason I can think for this is so when you open up the packet, the fish is browned on top so that it looks pretty. I skipped this step and increased the cooking time by 2 minutes, and my fish turned out perfectly.

The first step is to make a brown butter and lemon sauce for the fish. Butter is cooked over moderate heat until it starts to brown, then it is removed from heat and lemon juice is stirred in. The sauce is seasoned with salt and pepper, and then set aside.

Now you are ready to assemble the fish parcels. To assemble the parcels, a piece of parchment that is large enough to wrap the fish is placed on a flat surface. If you are not sure on the size of the parchment, go larger just to be safe. 3 thinly sliced piece of lemon is laid out on the center of the paper.

The fish is placed on top of the lemon slices, and a few table spoonful of the tomato sauce is spread around the fish along with pieces of sliced zucchini, and kalamata olives

The browned butter sauce is drizzled on top of the fish and whole coriander seeds are sprinkled on top of the sauce.

You can wrap the parchment in many different ways, but I folded it into a rectangular package, taking care not to wrap too tightly, since there will be some liquid released from the fish and vegetables in the package.

The packets are baked in a 350 degree oven for 17 minutes (remember I added 2 minutes to accommodate the searing step I skipped). The packages will be slightly puffed.

The fish should be served right away, and be careful when you open the packets, as hot steam will have built up in them.

Halibut and Summer Vegetables en Papillote

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