Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tilapia en Papillote

If you're looking for simple meals that impress the masses, this is a recipe and technique for you!

I stock up on fish, poultry, and meat at Costco. For my family of two, I don't have to go more than every 3-4 weeks. I buy in bulk, and freeze everything in 3-serving portions (one for me, one for my husband, and a little extra for leftovers), so that it's ready to defrost on the night before I want to cook it. I like to buy some red meat (like flank steak or stew meat), chicken breasts, ground turkey, and some sort of fish.

This month, I bought tilapia filets. It is an inexpensive fish that holds up well when cooked. So, the method is called fish en papillote or "in paper." The fish is steamed in parchment paper pockets and all of the flavors you add soak up into the meat and tastes delicate and delicious.

I always season fish with a little salt and pepper before anything else. Here, it's already laid out on a piece of parchment paper. You can make these in individual little pouches or do them all in one. This time I made all three filets in one because I was hungry. Just trying to save some time...

To my lightly seasoned tilapia, I added slices of lemon and ginger (seen above), then after looking in the fridge, I found white wine (about 1/4 cup) and capers. Other yummy things to add are garlic, lemon grass and fresh herbs or even a little mustard. You can also steam veggies in with the fish, like broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, etc.

After all the flavors are added in, fold over the parchment. My parchment paper actually has foil on the other side, which reminds me to tell you that you can also just use aluminum foil if you don't have parchment! Fold the edges all the way around to form a half circle/oval. Make sure it's completely sealed so that no steam escapes!

Bake it on a cookie sheet at 375F for 12-15 minutes or until the fish is just done all the way - you can peek inside the packet and close it back up if it's not done...I did. The thicker the filet, the longer time you'll need.

And voila!

When you open it , this is what you will see. Flaky fish in it's juices, ready to plate and serve! It's still amazing to me how much flavor it has, just from topping it with good ingredients. Mmm..good.

Happy cookin'!

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