Over the course of the two-plus years that I have been writing this blog, I have had many people tell me that they are nervous to cook fish. One of the no-fail ways to cook fish is to keep it as moist as possible, which makes it very hard to overcook — and the best way to keep fish moist is by baking it in a packet (otherwise known as a papillote if you want to be fancy).
This recipe would be perfect for a newbie fish cooker. It is quick, simple (only three ingredients!), delicious, and really hard to overcook. When you open the packets, the fish will have cooked in its own juices (and the butter, of course), keeping it moist and delectable. The rosemary fragrance and flavor is just right. I served this with heirloom tomatoes with a splash of olive oil, and Camembert Mashed Potatoes.
Tim and I have a fantastic 2011 resolution (one that we actually started in December – how’s that for being early birds?)…and let me start out by saying that it was his idea! We are trying at least one new recipe each per week. It has to be either a food or cooking technique that we have both never tried, and those are the only rules. My secret goal is to show him how non-meat dishes can be filling and delicious.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow me to introduce the most fail-proof, delicious, healthiest way to cook fish: en papillote! Papillote sounds fancy and French, right? So misleading (ha)…it just means that you fold parchment paper into a little pocket, add fish, veggies, and wine, and let it bake for a few moments. The fish and veggies steam in the packet, and you end up with the most tender, flavorful fish imaginable.
This was probably the most fun we’ve ever had cooking together, and having our own individual packets made it easy to customize our dinner to our individual tastes – definitely a great date night cooking recipe!
Can you tell whose papillote was whose?
When my Grandma came to stay with us earlier this year, I took her to Pier 46 (I know, I know, I can’t stop talking about this place!). She was THRILLED that they had halibut, which I guess is harder to find in Vermont, where she lives. The first time we went, she got the Halibut and Chips, which she then raved about daily until we went again. The second time, she got the Grilled Halibut Sandwich, and Joanne took our picture for Twitter and Facebook. Grandma, who is 87, was just tickled to see her photo on the Internet. Now whenever I have Halibut I think of Grandma and how Pier 46’s Halibut made her vacation complete!
This is a recipe I made on a whim last week. My mom and I went to 15 Degrees C wine bar for a little after work wine, and I picked up a bottle of Broadbent Vinho Verde, which was only $9. Vinho Verde is a Portuguese white wine that has a citrus-like acidity and a little spritz.
My Dad the chef has been known to go on tangents about how lemons complete fish and fish just isn’t the same without it. The Vinho Verde is so citrusy that my mom took a bite of this pasta and was convinced that I had added lemon! It was a perfect compliment to the Halibut.
By the way, in every letter she’s written me since her visit, Grandma mentions Pier 46 – although, sometimes it’s Pier 48, or 32 or….