Halibut en Papillote Recipe
This halibut cooked in parchment paper is a quick and easy way to prepare fish at home.
Yesterday my wife and oldest daughter went for manicures and while sitting there getting their nails done, they watched Rachel Ray on TV prepare Ginger-Garlic Fish in Parchment. It looked so good she stopped at a local fish market and picked up some fresh halibut to try a variation of the recipe at home.
My wife adapted Rachel’s recipe that you can find on the Food Network for Ginger-Garlic Fish in Parchment because she didn’t think the kids would enjoy all the ingredients for the cooking sauce. She also switched the fish from sea bass to halibut, a fish that we as a family enjoy more.
To me, this recipe is more about the technique of cooking in parchment paper than the actual recipe itself. Changing ingredients like this goes with everything I try to teach on my web site and cooking blog .
If you learn a few basic cooking techniques, you can cook just about anything and don’t need recipes. Recipes are great for ideas and suggesting combinations of ingredients but you know best what’s flavorful to you.
This is a great weeknight meal because it only takes about 30 minutes to prep and cook. It’s also a great dinner party recipe because you can prepare the fish packets in advance and have them ready to pop in the oven when your guests arrive.
We served this dish with baked potatoes that my wife started 30 minutes before getting this dish ready and a salad of mixed greens.
We served a 2006 Kunde Estate Reserve Chardonnay that was delicious with this meal. I think a lighter wine would have worked as well but this Chardonnay definitely didn’t overpower the meal.
This dish turned out as well as could be expected. Couldn’t be easier!
Both my kids loved it but my oldest daughter would have liked more mushrooms and less leeks. I would like to experiment next time with some additional flavors by preparing individual packets based on each person’s likes and dislikes.
What will make the difference in this dish is the quality of the fish. Try and find the freshest fish you can find. Saying that, most Chilean sea bass comes to the market frozen and the market thaws it out in their refrigerators.
You would be surprise at how much fish you by at the market comes in frozen. I always ask Andy the Fishmonger what’s fresh and what’s fresh frozen.
Halibut in Parchment
- 1½ pounds of halibut sea bass, cod, scrod or any meaty white fish would work
- parchment paper
- seafood seasoning we like Fisherman's Wharf by Urban Accents but salt and pepper work just fine too.
- 1 leek sliced thin and cleaned in cold water
- ½ pound mushrooms sliced thin - we used cremini but button mushrooms would work fine too.
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 12 cherry tomatoes sliced thin
- olive oil Extra virgin - to drizzle over the fish
- Start by preheating your oven to 375°F.
- Cut or tear off 4 pieces of parchment paper from the roll that are about 12 inches long. Lay them down on the counter so they flatten out a bit.
- Prep all your ingredients and have them ready to assemble. The halibut should be cut into 4 equal sized pieces.
- Position a piece of parchment paper in a shallow bowl - I used a shallow soup bowl and started adding a quarter of the sliced leeks, mushrooms, garlic and tomatoes to the center of the paper. The bowl is there to keep all the ingredients together in the center.
- Next add a piece of fish on top of the vegetables and drizzle some olive oil over the top of the fish
- Season with salt and pepper or your favorite fish seasoning and you are ready to start folding the paper. Make a pouch with the parchment paper by folding the paper in half and then fold it over on itself several times to secure it shut.
- Then fold up the sides of the paper to make a pouch. You'll repeat this process with the remaining parchment and ingredients and arrange on a baking sheet.
- Roast the parchment pouches for about 15 minutes. How long will depend on the size & thickness of the fish and the accuracy of your oven.
- If you want, you can pull one out and check it for doneness. The fish should flake when you test the middle with a fork or knife.