Trout en Papillote
This method of cooking fish seals in all the juices and gently cooks the delicate flesh. This recipe is taken from Leiths Cookery Bible.
- 55g butter
- 1 tbsp very finely shredded white of leek
- 1 tbsp very finely shredded carrot
- 55g button mushroom, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon or fennel leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 x 110g unskinned trout fillets, pinboned
- lemon juice
- 2 tbsps dry white wine
- oil for brushing
- Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7.
- Fold a large sheet of greaseproof paper in half and cut out 2 semi-circles, with radius of 20cm. Open out to form circles.
- Melt half the butter and add the leek and carrot. Cook slowly without browning for 5 minutes, then add the mushroom. Cook for 2 more minutes, then add the tarragon or fennel, and season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool.
- Brush the inside of the paper circles with a little oil, leaving the edges clear. Sandwich the trout fillets, skinned side outside, with the vegetables. Place a sandwich on one side of each circle and sprinkle on the wine. Dot with the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper.
- Fold the free half of the papillote paper over to make a parcel rather like an apple turnover. Fold the edges of the 2 layers of paper over twice together, twisting and pressing hard to seal.
- Brush a baking sheet lightly with oil and put it into the oven for 5 minutes to heat. Then put the papillotes on the baking sheet, taking care that they do not touch each other. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.
- Serve immediately on warmed dinner plates. Each diner unwraps his own puffed-up parcel.
NOTE: Halibut, haddock, salmon, indeed almost any fish, can be cooked in this way. Breast of chicken, boned and skinned, is also good en papillote, and takes 20 minutes in a piece, 15 minutes if in slices.