Have you ever eaten or made fish “en papillote”? I hadn’t until a recent trip to Tonela, where just by luck we happened upon a restaurant that had it on the menu! I fell in love with the wonderful, delicate, and flavorful fish so much that we went the next day so that I could order it again. I had to figure out how to be able to make this dish at home in Sayulita so that we could enjoy it. I was delighted to find out that this is one of the simplest meals to make, and can be prepared with a nice filet of white fish or even salmon. No need to turn on a hot oven in our humid Sayulita climate. This fish cooks beautifully on your barbecue or grill—a perfect meal on a hot Sayulita summer day.
Fish “en papillote” means “in paper” or “in parchment”. Delicate foods such as fish may be cooked “en papillote”, as they can be cooked very quickly and easily by this steaming method.
I am currently on Vancouver Island and fresh salmon is in every tienda, so the recipe and pictures I will be sharing with you are done with fresh salmon. However, you can use Pericole from the La Cruz Mercado del Mar; it is a lovely white fish that also tastes wonderful when done with this method. Any other white fish available in our Sayulita tiendas will work as well.
INGREDIENTS: for 1 serving
-1 fresh salmon or white fish filet
-1 vegetable (such as fresh asparagus or zucchini cut into small chunks or thin rounds)
-A handful of very thinly sliced white mushrooms
-Fresh corn sliced off of one cobb (canned corn can be used as a substitute if needed)
-An herb-butter blend: (softened butter with finely minced garlic, fresh parsley chopped fine, and an herb such as fresh basil, thyme or lemon thyme. You can use dried thyme leaves, but please remember to crush before adding to the softened butter. Oksana from Sana Spices should carry lemon thyme now. I bought her lemon-thyme seeds last year and it is my favorite herb for seafood.)
-3 thin slices of fresh lemon
-1-2 tablespoons of white wine
-Parchment paper to enclose all, about 24” long
- Preheat barbecue, grill, or oven to 400 degrees.
- Fold parchment paper in half and open flat.
- Place salmon or other fish along folded edge of the paper.
- Top fish with the herb-butter mixture.
- Lay asparagus (or other vegetable) along-side of fish.
- Top fish with sliced mushrooms and lemon slices.
- Sprinkle olive oil on the parchment paper— (this helps the paper stay closed when folded).
- Fold the parchment paper over the fish, pressing the paper together, and adding drizzles of oil as needed.
- On the end of the parchment paper that is open, begin by folding the edge up, continuously making pleats over the fold as you go. Just before you reach the end of folding, pour in the white wine, and then finish pleating. *I like to staple the ends and a few of the pleats to be certain that all the juices remain inside during the cooking.
- Place the packet on the barbecue or grill and close the lid.
- Cook for approximately 5 minutes. *I made this 4 different times, each time lowering the cooking time until I found the “sweet spot” with the fish cooked to perfection. I personally prefer my fish just done, but if you like yours more well-cooked, experiment with cooking time like I did.
- Immediately remove the packet from the barbecue; you will see the packet deflate as soon as it is removed from the grill.
- Use scissors to cut the packet from the center to each corner.
- Slide the contents, including the juices, onto your plate and enjoy! I know that you will love it as much as I do!
My next recipe will be for a Bacon Weave Burrito—a new take on a Tortilla shell. I know that you will love it, and it is so fun to make! I am not available for catering until November, but if you have any comments or questions please contact me on my LIVE LOVE & EAT in SAYULITA web page.
I LOVE hearing from you!
Written by: Karina Shecter