Wednesday night, I came across a dinner that made itself. I’m a busy woman and despite my love of cooking and eating, sometimes after a spinning class I just don’t want to spend time in the kitchen. I want to take a long shower and watch How I Met Your Mother or Community…
..and then I remembered a fabulous French way of cooking, that for a butter-loving and labor-intensive culture, is surprisingly effortless: roasted en papillote.
When I was in high school and living back in Jacksonville (obviously at home) my mother only bought her fish from one person: a French fishmonger. He made the best mango salsa, but he also sold fresh catch of the day in parchment paper pouches atop julienned summer squash, lemon zest, garlic and tomatoes. Popped in the oven for 15 minutes the fish emerged flaky, flavorful and perfectly cooked. This is my homage to him.
In parchment paper, I placed a filet of puritanically white halibut, gave it a cherry tomato necklace and topped it with three thin slices of lemon, some salt and some pepper. Oh, and I dashed some rosé wine in there, too.
Into the oven my package of fish went, alongside two fennel bulbs, sliced, on a sheet pan covered in olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Yeah baby.
Did I mention that I took a shower while this was in the oven? Hell yes.