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Real (French) Food Fast: Cod en Papillote

Cod en PapilloteI started the week with 5 tips for adding big flavor without added fat, then followed up with a Healthy One-Wok Meal of Bok Choy with Shrimp and Gingery Fried Rice. Tonight, I have another recipe in line with my 5 tips. You’d almost think that I’d made a new years resolution.

Yea, um, not sure I’m committed enough to go that far. So, instead, let’s ive in the moment and celebrate tip #3, Lovin’ from the Oven, with this quick and easy fish dish. And why not throw in tip #1, Feeling Zesty, too. You know, for good measure.

En papillote is a cooking method that involves wrapping ingredients in a parchment or aluminum foil “package” with a little bit of liquid at the bottom and baking in the oven. The liquid steams the food, cooking it so that it stays moist with very little added fat. It’s super healthy. And very tasty. Did I mention quick to prep, too?

This recipe is very forgiving. Measurements don’t have to be precise and you can swap in ingredients that you have on hands. Capers instead of (or in addition to) olives. Fennel. Orange, lemon juice or broth instead of wine. Garlic instead of shallots. A tablespoon of butter instead of olive oil. You get the point.

Cod en Papillote
serves 4

4 fillets of cod (about 6 ounces each)
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 Tbsp white wine
4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/8’s (you can substitute a 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved)
zest from 1/2 a lemon
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
kalamata olives

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper fish fillets. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and pour in olive oil. Spread it around to cover the bottom of the parchment or foil. Sprinkle chopped shallots on oiled parchment or foil and lay fish on top.

2. Pour wine on top of fish, place tomatoes around the fish and sprinkle the zest all around. Lay the sprigs of thyme across the top of the fillets and add olives all around, as many as you like.

3. Seal the bundle by folding parchment or foil closed over the top, tented so that there is room above the fish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until fish is cooked through and tomatoes and shallots are soft. Remove sprigs of thyme and carefully transfer fillets to plates, spooning sauce, tomatoes and olives over the top. Serve.

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