Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Orange Fennel Sole en Papillote

True story... I took enough middle school French to enable me to give fish in a paper bag a fancy name. En papillote. I didn't make up the name, it's a classic French cooking technique that gently steams contents and locks in delicate flavor. It's quick, very healthy and makes you feel fancy on a Wednesday night.

Since it's a delicate cooking method, it's ideal for flaky fish. You know the kind that sticks on the grill and crumbles when you try to flip in a pan. With en papillote you will be the master of flaky fish filets. 

The combinations are pretty endless, but in the drab of winter, citrus felt bright and delicious. Fennel's sweetness nicely complimented the tart and sole filets absorbed every bit of flavor. Tomatoes and olives would be a good if you were feeling bold and sassy. 

I did a fancy folding thing here. You can learn how to do it here. But here's a secret... you can do this all with foil. It's not as pretty, but it works just the same and takes no time. Fancy secrets! 

Orange Fennel Sole en Papillote
8 thin-cut sole filets
2 oranges, thinly sliced
1 bulb fennel, stalks removed and bulb cored and thinly sliced
4 slices butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut four 15-inch sheets of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fold sheet in half and place a slice of butter and 1/4 of fennel on the sheet. Top with 2 slices of fish, then layer on orange slices, a few fennel fronds and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold over foil and tightly crimp edges. Repeat for all four packs. 

Place packs on two cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. Open packets table side and enjoy. 

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