Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Flounder en Papillote

A truly fast, easy and healthy way to cook, “en papillote” simply means “in paper”. In this method, the food simply steams/braises itself, and the clean up is really easy as well. You can really use any good vegetables you like – this time it was red bell pepper, carrots, sugar snap peas, onions and mushrooms. Frozen mixed vegetables work well here too.

Also, you really have to use parchment paper – wax paper won’t work. In the oven, the wax will melt out and the paper fail, but parchment paper uses silicone instead of wax, so it hangs in there just fine.


zest of 1 entire lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
parchment paper
2 cups of fresh veggies, cut as you would for stir-fry
1/4 cup good white wine
2 tbs lemon juice (not from the zested lemon, above)
2 tsp olive oil
2 (5-ounce) flounder fillets (you can use any fairly thin fresh fish)
4-6 thin slices, center cut from the zested lemon
1/2 cup rice, your choice (I used basmati)
1 cup water


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl mix together 2/3 of the lemon zest, salt, and pepper and set aside. Save the other third.

Prepare the parchment paper. Lay the paper out in landscape orientation, and then fold it in half like a book. Using scissors, cut out half of a wide heart shape, so that when you finish and it is opened, it will resemble the picture below. Repeat for the second sheet.

Put half of your veggies on one half of your open heart, in the middle top-to-bottom and near the centerline. Drizzle one tsp of olive oil and half of your reserved zest, salt and pepper mix over the veggies.

Lay your piece of fish over the veggies, and layer 2 or 3 lemon slices over the fish.

Drizzle a couple of ounces of wine over the fish stack, fold the empty half of the heart over the food, and start sealing the pouch. Starting at the top of the “heart” (away from the point), fold the paper over about an inch. Move down and repeat, making sure to have each fold overlap the previous fold.

Doing this makes each fold hold the earlier ones shut. When you get to the pointy end, you are left with a “tail” like in the picture below. Notice how all the folds are locked together.

This tail you have left at the end you will tuck under the pouch when you put it on the baking sheet.

Now is a good time to start your rice. Make it as you normally would, but add the raw unsalted lemon zest to the rice when it comes to a boil. Once you set your rice timer for 15 minutes, get the fish in the oven on the middle rack. It needs to spend about 13 minutes in the oven, so when the rice is almost done, pull out your fish. Plate the rice, add butter and garnish as desired. Next plate the pouch. Pierce the paper and pull it back, being careful of the steam. Here it is served alongside the basmati rice mix.

1 comment:

Willoughby said...

What a great idea! We buy flounder quite often so I'm always looking for different ways to make it.