By: Chef Laura Bonicelli Cod en Papillote. En papillote, or al cartoccio in Italian, is a cooking method in which the food cooks in a parchment pouch or bag. The food steams with its moisture. Buy your ingredients at your favorite Farmers Market!
About Cod en Papillote
Cod en Papillote is one of my favorite mid-winter recipes. In the summer, we always have the option of “throwing something on the grill.” In the winter, this incredible cooking method is a perfect alternative. It’s simple, healthful, and the best part: you don’t smell the fish cooking. Then, when you open the package, all of the food’s aroma escapes in a rush. Delightful!
My first encounter with this cooking method wasn’t with Cod en Papillote; it was in Brownies. Brownies, for the uninformed, is a pre-Girl Scout. I believe I was in 2nd grade, and we used aluminum foil, hamburger, and a campfire, but the same cooking method. All ingredients put in a pouch, seasoned, heat added, and voila, dinner.
Over the years, I have made small changes to the recipe for Cod en Papillote. In particular, I precook the potatoes. That allowed me to cut the cooking time a little; better for the fish. You can change the type of fish and alter the vegetables, but remember the acid and fat (lemon juice and olive oil) are crucial to the dish’s success. I adore the piquant quality of the capers and sun-dried tomatoes. They contrast beautifully with the freshness of the cherry tomatoes, lemon, and leek.
Finally, the 5 minutes that the Cod en Papillote rests when you take it out of the oven is critical. The dish is still cooking in its’ steam. The juices are developing into a delicate sauce. Plate the packages and cut them open at the table. I hope you love this recipe!
Cod en Papillote is a perfect “make-ahead” dish. You can have a complete dinner ready in your fridge mid-day for dinner. Eighteen minutes in the oven, and voila! – dinner!
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