Saturday, May 16, 2009

Parchment-Steamed Fish

Marsha introduced me to parchment paper. I'd never seen anyone use it in the kitchen before I met her. It turns out that parchment paper is quite useful. Especially if you want to steam something. Like fish.

Marsha was very open about the ingredients to this dish. She prefers using tilapia, but recommends any mild fish that will absorb flavors well. As for the other ingredients, she just says to "add any of your favorite things". Here's her version:

--Tilapia (or any fish you prefer), as many fillets that you intend to serve
--Olive Oil
--Kosher or Sea Salt and Fresh-Ground Black Pepper
--Red or Yellow Pepper, small dice
--Fresh Oregano
--Lemon (a couple slices, plus a good squeeze of the juice)
--Parchment Paper

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. On top of a cookie sheet, lay out enough parchment paper to make a giant "paper dumpling" with all of your ingredients inside (I never quite trust "paper" holding liquid, so I recommend using two sheets for strength). In the center of the sheet, lay out your fish fillets. Drizzle them with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and squeeze some lemon juice over them. On or around the fillets, add the diced pepper, fresh oregano, and lemon slices. Now close up your "paper dumpling", though don't wrap it too tightly. Leave enough room in the pouch for steam to collect. Pop the whole thing in the oven for 10 minutes or so, or until the fish is flaky. Be careful not to burn yourself on the hot steam when opening the parchment pouch!

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