Tuesday 31 May 2016

Oven baked cod fish en papillote with asparagus

10 minutes to prepare  minutes to cook Serves 4



As someone who is constantly messing up the kitchen, I really appreciate meals that require minimal cleanup, especially when I am tired, after dinner.
That's where parchment paper becomes my best ally. Cooking in parchment paper, or en papillote, is an easy, fast, and healthy technique.

In culinary terms, en papillote means wrapping and sealing food - using fish or poultry - in parchment and putting it in the oven so it steams in its own juices.
This technique is seamless, impossible to get wrong, and requires no particular skill: just top your fillets with ingredients you like...onion or other vegetables, spices like ginger or a pinch of lemon zest, herbs like basil and tarragon in the summer, rosemary and thyme in the winter.
You could use salmon or sea bass or cod fish - basically any thick, flaky fish. Just pile the herbs on top, seal it up, and it comes out perfectly every time. After 15 minutes of baking, you get to open your parchment-wrapped package to a succulent, juicy, perfectly cooked meal and then simply throw away the paper.

What's more is that any combination is always really satisfying.  Today it was cod fish fillets with asparagus: the flaky texture of the cod fillet complements the tender but fresh asparagus. And the salty anchovies bring everything together very nicely.


Here are ingredients for the 4-serving recipe:

800 fresh cod fish fillets
200 g asparagus
8 anchovy fillets in oil
EVO oil
salt and pepper

  1. Rinse the asparagus under cool water to remove any grit. Snap off the bottom inch using your fingers; the stems will naturally break where the tough woody part ends and the tender stem begins. Peel asparagus' tough outer skin
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Set 4 large sheets of parchment paper on the baking tray
  3. Set 1 fillet of cod fish onto each piece of paper. Place 1/4 of the asparagus on top of each piece of fish. Chop the anchovies fillets and do the same with them. Top each piece with EVO oil and a pinch of salt. Crack some black pepper if you like
  4. Close up the parchment paper to make 4 little packages. I personally chose to wrap them up in aluminium foil
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes - until fish is cooked through and asparagus is tender -
  6. Transfer your fish and asparagus to serving plates and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts are listed for this recipe in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

"Hook is a codfish, a codfish, a codfish!"
(From the Disney movie Peter Pan)

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