Cook: Poisson en Papillote (Father’s Day Dinner)

When I was younger, I remember making a Father’s Day card at school out of construction paper and I drew Sailor Moon on it. Although it was my favourite show back then, I had no idea why I thought it was appropriate to draw it on a card meant for my father. I’m pretty sure my father still has it.

Fast forward, the gift that I know my father will enjoy is a nice home cooked meal. It is the effort and thought that is much more appreciated than buying silk ties or a set of Phillips screwdrivers.

I knew that I had to make something with seafood, which he much prefers over steak. For dinner, it is Poisson en Papillote — fish in parchment paper.

06152014-0106152014-02Went to Hooked, a small fish market in my neighbourhood that carries sustainable seafood. The staff recommended the Pacific Cod from Aleutian Island, Alaska.

06152014-03I also dropped by Wine Rack to pick up a bottle of wine to cook the fish with since all I had at home were wines meant for drinking and wasteful if used for cooking. While it was convenient, I don’t really recommend going to Wine Rack as their selections are small, and they mostly carry wines from large corporate wineries.

06152014-06I was given two long filets, to which was enough to sliced into 4 approximately 6oz filets. With four pieces of parchment paper about 15 inches in length, I lay a filet in the middle of the paper, sprinkled sea salt and pepper on both sides, and fresh dill, a slice of lemon, extra virgin olive oil and a dash of white wine). I then fold the other half of the paper over the fish and made small folds and crinkles to seal the edges.

If you are having trouble sealing the edges, use a toothpick (or more than one), and pierce the edges to keep it in place.

Preheat oven to 400°F and place pouches on a baking tray. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, but depending on the thickness of the fish, between 15-20 minutes should suffice. The fish should be opaque and flaky.

06152014-08For the side, I made chickpea and lentil salad with diced plum tomatoes, carrots, red peppers, shallots and parsley. The dressing is made with lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, sea salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

06152014-04I also made quinoa to replace rice. My foolproof method of making fluffy quinoa is using the 2:1 ratio (2 cups liquid to 1 cup quinoa. Rinse the quinoa well with a fine mesh sieve under running cool water to rinse out the bitter saponins). Drain well and add it to boiling liquid. Reduce the temperature to low, cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.

06152014-07My parents enjoyed the dinner, and I discovered I kind of like cooking things in a paper bag.


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