Snapper en Papillote With Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

November 7, 2008

Cooking "en papillote" simply means in parchment, and the method is not as tricky as the fancy name implies. Parchment paper and even  preformed parchment bags are available at many gourmet shops and online. We use a combination of foil and parchment which gives a double seal to the process and makes clean up quick and easy.

Here's a variation we made from some fresh lehi, a type of snapper, and other ingredients we happened to have on hand. Experiment and have fun!

Snapper en Papillote With Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Parchment paper, cut into 15" squares, one per serving
Aluminum foil, cut as above

For the fish
Snapper or other fish fillet or steak, 5-7 oz per serving
roasted red peppers from a jar or home roasted - 1 cup approx, cut into 4" x 2" rectangles or wedges
1 large shallot
olive oil for brushing the foil

For the salsa:
1  C  roasted red pepper, chopped
1  C ripe avocado, chopped
3  green onions, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 C fresh  orange segments, seeded, membranes removed, and chopped
2 T juice from roasted tomato jar (optional)
2 T orange or mango juice
1/4 t hot sauce or to your taste
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and mix.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees

For each serving/packet of fish:
Place square of foil atop like square of parchment
Brush foil with olive oil
Lay 3-5 rectangles of red pepper on the foil
Top with 2 tsps chopped shallot
Season fish with salt and pepper
Place fish on the prepared "bed" of pepper and shallot, skin side up if your fish has skin. The veggies should be under the fish.

To fold the parchment packages:
Fold the far top edge of the parchment towards you until the top edge meets the bottom, making a rectangle. This will "scooch" the fish forward towards you, but not to worry.
Starting at one end, fold up and crimp a couple of small turns, proceeding around until you have made the package into a half heart or half moon shape. Go back and repeat the process folding in towards the fish until you have crimped right around right up close to the fish. If the edges look as if they will come undone, press a rolling pin or back of heavy knife along the folds to convince them otherwise.

Place parchment packages on a baking sheet
Bake at 475 for 15 minutes

The packets should turn nicely brown and puff as they cook. The sizzle and smell should be lovely as well.

Cut open the packets, serve the fish vegetable side up, pouring the liquid from the packet over the top. Salsa goes on the side or passed at the table. We think it looks prettiest served with.