Cook sustainable, well-seasoned tilapia, salmon ‘en papillote’


Sustainable fish appears to be a growing trend on menus. It’s easy for home cooks to follow this healthy theme with fillets of tilapia and salmon that are certified sustainable.

Cook sustainable, well-seasoned tilapia, salmon ‘en papillote’

Sustainable fish appears to be a growing trend on menus. It’s easy for home cooks to follow this healthy theme with fillets of tilapia and salmon that are certified sustainable.

Available at many supermarkets, these fish can be prepared quickly as entrees that fit any situation, from a simple lunch to a romantic dinner for two. The two recipes here use the “en papillote” method. It’s an easy, steam-in-a-pouch technique that can employ a variety of seasonings.

 

Basil Salmon

3 to 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 tablespoons diced celery

2 tablespoons diced red onion

2 salmon fillets (about 6 by 2 inches, 3/4 inch thick), rinsed and patted dry

3 to 4 tablespoons pasta sauce with mushrooms and green peppers

1 teaspoon dried basil or Italian seasoning

3 tablespoons white wine or vermouth (optional)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoons sour cream (optional)

Fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced thin to create a chiffonade

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare two 12-by-14-inch pieces of aluminum foil (or two 14-inch circles of cooking parchment). Crease each rectangle down the center. Lay both rectangles open on a work surface.

Drizzle about 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons olive oil on half of each rectangle. Onto the oil, sprinkle about half the diced celery and onion. Top with 1 fillet on each rectangle. Spread 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons sauce on each fillet. Sprinkle on 1/2 teaspoon dried basil or Italian seasoning, the remaining celery and red onion, 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine, if using. Add lemon juice to each fillet. Salt and pepper to taste.

Fold each rectangle over the ingredients and crimp the edges together to seal in liquids and steam during cooking. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the fish flakes when touched with a fork.

Remove from oven and place fish on two plates. Garnish with sour cream, if using, and fresh basil. Or, for a little extra drama, place 1 pouch on each plate and let diners slit them open. Place sour cream and basil chiffonade on the table. Serve hot. Makes 2 servings.

 

Tilapia Mesquite

3 to 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided

3 to 4 tablespoons diced celery

2 tablespoons diced red onion

2 tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry

3 to 4 tablespoons salsa

2 teaspoons mesquite seasoning

2 scallions, green and white sections, thin sliced

2 tablespoons white wine or vermouth (optional)

1 slice bacon, cooked and torn in pieces

Juice of 1 /2 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare two 12-by-14-inch pieces of aluminum foil (or two 14-inch circles of cooking parchment). Crease each rectangle down the center. Lay both rectangles open on a work surface.

Spoon 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons oil on half of each rectangle. On top of the oil sprinkle about half the diced celery and onion. Top these with 1 fillet on each rectangle. Spread 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons salsa on each fillet. Sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of mesquite seasoning, 1 sliced scallion, the remaining celery and onion, and 1 tablespoon white wine, if using. Add 1/2 of the bacon pieces and half the lemon juice to each fillet. Salt and pepper to taste.

Fold each rectangle over the ingredients and crimp the edges together to seal in liquids and steam during cooking. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the fish flakes when touched with a fork.

Remove the fillets from the oven and place a fillet on each plate. Or, for dramatic effect, place a pouch on each plate and let the diners slit them open. Serve hot. Makes 2 servings.

Note: Peppers can be used in this recipe, but don’t let them overwhelm the fish