Fish en Papillote

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We are still eating clean and making healthier choices.  I find myself trying to make things that I haven’t made before just so my family doesn’t get burned out on any one food.  Dieting is hard enough.  There’s no need to add monotony to it!

If you’re like me, the very words fish en papillote are a little scary.  I’ve watched people make this dish on cooking shows and I’ve thought to myself, “That didn’t look hard.  I’ll bet I could do that.”

I’ve been thinking that for years, but I never actually tried to make it.  This weekend I did it.

And it was good.

I mean it was really good.  “Kids asked for more” good!

I came to realize that fish en papillote sounds fancy and intimidating – even when you know that it just means “fish in parchment.”  So I’ll just call it what it is.

Fish in a bag.

There.  That’s not scary at all, is it?  And that’s really all it is!

I start out by prepping the things that would go inside my little parchment packages.  You can vary these, of course.  I’ll just show you what I did.

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Easy, right?

Then I tore off squares of parchment from the roll and made each package.

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Some people prefer to put their vegetables on the bottom.  It’s just a matter of preference.  I wanted mine to be pretty so I put them on top.  I laid the fish (and I was using thin flounder fillets, so I used two in each package) onto the parchment and salted them.  Then I laid asparagus and red bell pepper strips on and topped it all with a couple of lemon slices.

Then it was just about the folding.  You can find a bazillion videos on YouTube that show how to fold these.  Mine ended up like this:

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Then I put the package onto a big baking sheet and kept going with the next one.  I made six in all.

After baking, you can actually just place the whole parchment package onto a plate and tear it open and serve like that.  I chose to remove mine with a spatula and serve it over red quinoa.

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So good!  Clean, fresh flavors and beautiful colors!

Fish en Papillote (Fish in a Bag)

  • 12 thin (or 6 thick) fish fillets (I used flounder)
  • Asparagus spears, trimmed
  • Red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 2 lemons, sliced thinly
  • salt
  • parchment paper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Tear 6 squares of parchment (as wide as the roll).  On one square, lay 2 fish fillets (sprinkle a little salt on each one), 5-6 asparagus spears, a few red bell pepper strips, and two lemons.

Use whatever method you prefer to fold your parchment.  Place the parchment package onto a large baking sheet and continue the process.

When all packages are complete, place baking sheets into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Serve within 10-15 minutes so that fish stays warm.  Do not open parchment until time to serve.

Well Duh #1:  I used flounder, but you can use whatever clean-tasting fish you’d like.  Cod, salmon, tilapia – even catfish!

Well Duh #2:  I made the red quinoa according to package directions, but I added a drizzle of sesame oil, a teaspoon of salt, the zest of one lemon, and the juice of half a lemon once the water started to boil.

Well Duh #3:  Be sure to completely seal the parchment!  You are steaming the fish and vegetables.  If the steam escapes, it won’t cook the same.

I cannot say enough about how easy this turned out to be!  I made something restaurant-fancy and Pate-Family-delicious!  The kids and I absolutely loved it!  Michael is not a fan of baked fish, but he did say the bite I forced on him was tasty!

I will be making this one again!  In fact, I can’t wait!

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