Sunday, May 4, 2014

Fish Baked in Parchment

Isn't healthy food pretty? I love preparing fish this way. It's simple: 400 degrees, 10 minutes for 1" of thickness. I used a piece of parchment roughly 18 inches in length, folded in half and oiled on the inside. Then I placed the fish fillet, in this case sea bass, one one side of the paper and smothered it in raw veggies I had on hand -- here, onion, bell peppers, oregano, dill and Italian parsley with lemon, all thinly sliced. I drizzled a little tequila over all of it before I folded the packet together thus:

You just start at one corner and continue with a series of overlapping folds around to the other side. I didn't do such a neat job of it, as it had begun to unfold in the middle, but I just added a couple more folds and it was fine. This much can be done in advance, and placed in the fridge on a cookie sheet (rimmed is best in case any moisture leaks out) until you are ready to pop it into the preheated oven.

At the end of cooking, use cooking shears to cut a hole in the top of the parchment, being careful to avoid steam burns. Lovely! My parchment-ful was one huge fillet that my husband and I shared. This is one portion. I find that 10 minutes at 400 degrees works well for the way I like fish best -- not overcooked. If you prefer it drier add another minute or two. It's important to keep thickness in mind too when timing the bake. A thicker portion will require more time in the oven. I normally err on the side of undercooking because it's easy to put a little foil on top of the opened pouch and pop it back in for a few more minutes if needed.

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