Here we are again on French Fridays with Dorie, and this time we are making fillet of fish en papillote. This can be prepared both with salmon or cod. I happened to have some cod on hand, so cod it was. There just aren't enough good things I can say about this recipe. The fish came out tasting incredibly delicious! Here is another of Dorie's recipes to treasure and make again and again.
En papillote is a method of cooking by wrapping food in parchment paper or aluminum foil. It seals in the flavors during the cooking process and renders a more aromatic and tender product. It's exactly what happened here. The aroma of the cod was incredible and its texture was very succulent.
I made two fish packets. To start off, I washed the fish well and patted it dry. Then I placed it in a bowl and seasoned it with salt and pepper. I sprinkled the juice of one lemon over the fish and I let it absorb the lemon flavor while I continued preparing. I made some tomato concassé, which is nothing else than diced tomatoes, peeled and with the seeds removed. I always do this when I cook with fresh tomatoes because I really dislike finding loose tomato skin or seeds in my food. They are tough and bitter, so out they go! I salted the tomatoes and sautéed them in some olive oil. Then I cut two large pieces of aluminum foil and placed them on the counter. After that, all that was left to do was a layering of ingredients. Some basil leaves went on the foil, then the fish, then the tomatoes then some lemon rind.
The layering continued with some chopped scallions, a couple of thinly cut lemon slices, a few dashes of olive oil, a bit more basil and a sprig of fresh thyme. I folded the aluminum foil over the fish and herbs, forming well sealed packets. The fish cooked in a 400° F oven for about 12 minutes.
I opened up the foil packets and a fragrant puff of steam rose up from them, catching me by surprise. I breathed in the aroma of basil, thyme and lemon.
The fish was plated and served right away. It was seasoned perfectly, and the en papillote method had ensured the cod came out very tender. How can I not cook this again?