En papillote is French for “in parchment”, or al cartoccio in Italian. This is a method of cooking in which the food is put into a folded pouch or parcel and then baked. The parcel is typically made from folded parchment paper, but other material, such as a paper bag or aluminum foil, may be used. The parcel holds in moisture to steam the food. The pocket is created by overlapping circles of aluminum foil and parchment paper and then folding them tightly around the food to create a seal. A papillote should be opened at the table to allow people to smell the aroma when it opens.
Fresh fish en papillote is quite a treat ~ quite a delight ~ quite heavenly, in fact.
I was gifted with a bit of fresh caught mahi mahi, thus my palate was gifted with en papillote.
The method is simple. Parchment paper and a little bit of seasoning.
The result, though, is utterly sophisticated.
And mingled with the candy sweet caress of Cara Cara Orange and Vanilla across the lips and the subtly saccharine and smooth starchiness of carrots and parsnips whipped in coconut creates a bountiful burst that is truly out of this world. Enjoy.
Mahi Mahi en Papillote
12 oz. fresh mahi mahi filet
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 Tbs. Cara Cara Orange and Vanilla White Balsamic Vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 cups organic mixed salad greens
1 Tbs. Cara Cara Orange and Vanilla White Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1 cup organic carrots, coarsely chopped
1 cup organic parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cups organic vegetable broth
2-3 tsp. Jacobsen Salt Co. Lemon Zest Salt
1 Tbs. organic coconut oil
Fresh rosemary for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the fine, fresh fish with salt and pepper, fresh rosemary, and orange vanilla vinegar. Wrap in parchment, en papillote, and bake for 30-40 minutes, until cooked through but not overdone in any way.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, drizzle the salad greens with oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss in cherries and serve “zested” with lemon.
For the winter veggies, boil the carrots and parsnips in a medium pot of about 2 cups veggie broth and additional water, if things become a little dry before the veggies are soft. Once soft, transfer to a high speed blender and whir away. Add the lemon salt and coconut oil and then whip into perfection.
Plate the dish beginning with the veggie whip, then the fish filets, followed by a side salad. Garnish with fresh rosemary and be sure to enjoy with a beautifully chilled glass of wine.
Oh, I think it was good. Don’t you?
As you may have noted from past references, I’m not a huge fan of white wine. In fact, I typically avoid the lady-like libation at all costs. The aromas simply do not please my sensibilities, nor do the flavors.
However, with this special dish in mind, I tasked myself with the challenge of the perfect WINE PAIRING. White wine with fish is a must, so I hear.
Engaging and reminiscing on one past experience, the only time in my life I’ve been pleased with a punch of white ~ a food and wine pairing lunch at the most exquisite winery in the Willamette Valley ~ I went for it – Pinot Gris.
At the subtle yet surprisingly suggestive nudge of my sommelier sister, Susan, I went with Del Rio Vineyards Pinot Gris.
Chilled to perfection.
The pairing was absolutely amazing.