Black Cod En Papillote | Cod Baked in Parchment Paper

Recipe by: Nécole King

This is a beautiful, simple, and healthy way to serve Whidbey Seafood’s black cod. Baking firm-fleshed fish in parchment is a French technique which allows the fish to steam gently in its individual packet, making it virtually foolproof. This method also works well with rockfish or halibut. For vegetables, use what is available, but keep the veggies sliced thinly, and use those that cook quickly, and taste best slightly crisp. (Ie – not potatoes, or root veg that requires long cooking times)

Ingredients – Serves 2

2 (6-8 oz) portions black cod

4 Tbs softened butter

1 small shallot, minced

Few sprigs each fresh dill, lemon thyme, and parsley, finely chopped

Zest of half a lemon

Lemon slices, from one whole lemon

¼ tsp kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 small carrots, sliced thinly by knife, or mandolin

2 large handfuls green beans, or pea pods, trimmed into equal lengths

2 hakurei turnips, sliced thinly on the mandolin (these are also called salad turnips, and cook quickly)

To begin, preheat the oven to 425 deg F. Cut 2 squares of parchment paper, roughly 14 inches in width and length. You want enough paper to be able to fully enclose the fish and veggies, and roll the edges to seal. So, err on the side of too much paper, rather than too little.

Prepare the herb butter by combining the softened butter, shallot, herbs, lemon zest, and salt and pepper.

To one side of the middle of each square of parchment, place half the carrots, topped by half of the green beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rest the cod atop the vegetables, then spread half the herb butter on top of the fish. Layer the lemon slices over the buttered fish, and drizzle a small amount of olive oil, plus a few grinds of pepper over all.

To create the parchment packets, fold the empty half of parchment over the top of the fish and vegetables, then starting at one corner of the fold, begin rolling and tucking the parchment to seal it, moving to the other end of the fold. You want to be sure the packet is nicely sealed, as we’re steaming the fish – so no steam should be allowed to escape.

Place the parchment packets on a rimmed baking sheet, and into the oven, to bake for 12-15 minutes.

Once the fish is done, very carefully so as not to burn yourself on escaping steam, open the packets. Voila! Dinner is served! You may remove the fish and veggies from the parchment and place on a plate, or simply serve straight off the parchment. This dish is lovely served with wild rice, or fresh bread.

About the author: Nécole has lived on South Whidbey for the past ten years, somewhat settled after years traveling and living around the globe. She spent those years soaking up the culture, the spirit, and the food in idylls she was fortunate to call home: Southern Portugal, the UK, and New Zealand, among them. Ultimately, Nécole was drawn back to her native Pacific Northwest, where she delights in reframing tasty, yet deceptively simple recipes learned overseas, making the most of the bounty of our PNW produce and seafood.

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