Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Halibut en Papillote


2 Halibut Steaks
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Sliced
1 Teaspoon Basil
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and Sliced
2 Tablespoons Capers
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

Halibut is truly one of the most delightful of fishes--when you can get it.  It is definitely a seasonal thing, and it seems to be available at just certain times a year--even frozen.  I try to snap up as much as I can when I see it and keep it in the deep freeze for making wonderful dishes like this one.

En Papillote simply means 'in paper' in French, and that's because, yes, we'll be cooking the fish in a paper pouch.  Sounds weird, but actually this is a great technique that is easy to do and practically foolproof.  If you're worried about being able to cook your hard-won halibut perfectly, you can't go wrong with this technique.  The fish steams in its own juices, and all you have to do is time it right and it will come out perfect--no worries about overcooking.

The en papillote method also makes for a neat presentation--you can serve the dish right in the same pouch you cooked it in, ensuring the fish is piping hot when it gets to your table.

Halibut en Papillote

Preheat Oven to 400˚F.

Season the Halibut Steaks with salt and pepper.

Slice your tomatoes...

then add them with the rest of the ingredients to a bowl and mix well.

Tear off about a 20 inch run of parchment paper.  Place one of the halibut steaks on the paper to one side, leaving a couple inches space on three sides (and quite a few more on the forth).

Spoon half your tomato mixture over the fish,

then fold over the long side of the parchment paper, lining up the corners.  Fold the three open sides over a couple of times and staple, making a nice little rectangular package.

Repeat with the other halibut steak.

Place both packets on a tray and slide them in your oven.

Bake for 14 minutes.  You should hear a nice sizzling sound coming from the packets when they are done.

Serve immediately.  You can plate the packet and serve just like this, letting your guests tear open the packet and eat the fish right out of it.

Warn them to be careful...lots of hot steam in the packet.

You can also open the packets and plate everything as well, as I've done here.

Until next time,

Why not cook this one...just for the halibut!


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