I first saw the idea of cooking “en papillote” during an episode of French Food at Home, and it seemed so appealing to me. A little packet of fish and vegetables to wrap, then open and eat? Irresistible.
Of course, like most recipes I see, it got stored away for a rainy day. Luckily, a High Liner flyer with a similar recipe popped up in the mail, and reminded me that I had yet to try this cooking method. So I finally did last week.
I can’t locate the actual recipe I used on the High Liner website (this is the closest), but Laura Calder’s recipe is very close to what we did. We used sole, by far one of the most inexpensive types of fish I have bought ($5 for 3 fresh fillets). In terms of cooking, we substituted dried oregano for fresh thyme, poured the mustard/honey/lemon juice/herb/olive oil dressing over the fish and vegetables, wrapped up the packets, and put them in the oven. We wondered why the parchment was advised to be a heart shape – wouldn’t an oval work just as well?
In any case, we took out the packets after the recommended twenty-five minutes and opened them up. Steaming, the fish had been beautifully cooked (the paper wasn’t as spotlessly brown as in the photo, but no matter). Cooking en papillote made for a relatively easy and quick dinner (the parchment made cleanup a cinch too).
I figured this would be a great dish for dinner parties – the packets could be assembled ahead of time, refrigerated, then popped in the oven after guests arrive. I will be making this again!
Sole En Papillote
And given the relatively healthy dinner, we allowed ourselves to indulge in a little dessert – a slice of tiramisu from Save On. It was remarkably good.