Monday, April 03, 2006

Spring Ahead to Lighter Fare - Baking Fish in Parchment



With the warmer weather comes the worries about tighly fitting jeans and that extra "protective" layer you may have developed during the winter months. Time to lighten up the menu folks. Following is an easy, delicious recipe that you can vary a lot based on the types of fish you use or the herbs you choose to add. There are no oils or butter in this dish. The moisture of the fish is retained by the parchment packets and the added lemon slices. It's no mac and cheese but it's very tasty and you'll feel better about yourself for taking the healthy route.

This recipe is adapted from Martha.

Serves 2

Hake & Clams in Parchment Paper

Ingredients:
• 1 large russet potato, scrubbed and sliced 1/8 inch thick (highly recommend using a mandoline for this. it will make your life so much easier.)
• 2 ounces baby spinach
• 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 6 sprigs of thyme (remove the leaves or use the sprigs as is and take them out after the fish is cooked)
• 1 lemon, thinly sliced
• 1 lb. (or a little less) of Hake, Cod or Halibut, about 1 1/2 inch thick, cut into two pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper
• 4 small littleneck clams/quahogs
• 2-inch piece of linguica or your favorite sausage chopped into small pieces (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

How to:
1. Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper (roughly 12 x 17 inches). You can find parchment paper next to the tin foil and plastic wrap in the grocery store. Fold each sheet in half crosswise.
2. Place 1 piece of parchment down. On one side, place half of the following ingredients: sliced potatoes, chopped garlic, spinach, chopped shallots, 2 lemon slices, thyme sprigs.
3. Place the seasoned halibut on top of the ingredients above, top with some linguica and tuck in a few small quahogs.
4. Fold parchment over all the ingredients. Fold the top and bottom of the parchment paper together starting at one end and going to the other (you form the parchment into sort of a crescent shape - see image above).
5. Repeat the same process for second piece of fish.
6. Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
7. Serve packets right on plates and either cut open or let the individual diners cut open their own serving. If you take it out of the packets and then serve it on the plate you will lose a lot of the juices.

Enjoy!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Donna said...

Sounds delicious and healthy without a lot of mess - looks like the parchment keeps it all contained. This encourages me to eat more fish and less Oreos.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Michelle Sears said...

Lynn - did you get this from watching Martha? She had a whole cooking demo on her show about this exact meal. I'll have to find something veg-friendly to cook in parchment - it looks neat.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Lynne said...

yes, i did see the martha demo which re-inspired me to cook with parchment. this recipe is adapted from the one she featured on the show. i think the quahogs and sausage add some much-needed flavor and texture to the dish. hope you try it sometime. if so, let me know how it goes.

5:24 PM  

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