Lemon White Fish en Papillote
with baked sweet potato / fennel and tomato saute
Use any type of white fish for this classic preparation with clean, bright flavors.
Smarts: Cooking fish "en papillote" (in parchment paper) helps it to stay succulent and absorb the flavors of the other ingredients it's cooked with.
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Lemons - 1, thinly sliced rounds
- Capers - 1 Tbsp, drained and rinsed
- Fish, any white fish like tilapia, hake, flounder or halibut - 1 lb
- Parchment paper - 4 pieces (sub foil)
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Sweet potatoes, medium - 4
- Butter - 4 Tbsp
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Fennel - 1 bulb, sliced
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Tomatoes, diced and preferably fire-roasted (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
- Garlic (for fish and saute) / Fennel - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Lemons / Capers - Prep as directed.
- Fish - Slice fish into desired number of serving sizes. Rinse and pat dry. Season with some salt and pepper.
Prepare fish en papillote - If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing. Tear out 1 sheet of parchment paper per serving (so for 4 servings, use 4 sheets) or foil, about 18" (45 cm) wide. For parchment paper, stack, fold in half, and then cut into angular heart shapes (diagram below or see video). If you’re using foil, there’s no need to do this. Place each fish fillet onto one half of each piece of parchment or foil. Top fish with butter (portion for fish), garlic (portion for fish), capers and lemon slices. Fold parchment or foil over to enclose fish. Crimp the edge of the foil or fold edges of parchment to seal.
Place fish en papillote in a single layer on a sheet pan.
- Heat oven to 425F / 218C degrees.
- Cook sweet potatoes in the microwave or oven. 1) For microwave: Prick sweet potatoes with a knife. Cover with a damp paper towel and microwave on high until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. This will vary based on the size of potatoes; continue cooking until potatoes are soft enough to cut into with a fork. 2) For oven: Wrap sweet potatoes in foil. Prick several times with a knife. Bake at 425F / 218C until soft enough to cut into with a fork, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (You can also do a hybrid of the two - start the potatoes for 4-5 minutes in the microwave and finish in the oven for ~25 minutes.)
- Bake fish en papillote in the oven until it flakes easily with a fork (you can peel one packet open to test), 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness.
- While fish bakes, heat a saute pan with olive oil over medium heat. Add fennel with a pinch of salt. Saute until fennel is very tender and golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic (portion for saute) and tomatoes (including liquid). Bring to a simmer. Simmer until liquid has reduced, 4 to 5 minutes more. Season with some salt and pepper.
- Slice potatoes open, mash them a bit with a fork and top with butter (portion for potatoes).
- Serve fish in the packets used for cooking (that way you won’t lose any of the delicious lemon butter sauce). Enjoy potatoes with fennel and tomato saute spooned over top. Enjoy!
Delicious and easy! This was my first experience cooking fish en papillote and I will definitely make again.0 Helpful
I must have done something wrong, because this took me 2 hours to cook from scratch instead of the estimated 35 minutes! The end result was very underwhelming for the amount of effort - the fish didn’t taste like anything special and could really have used more flavor. I thought the fennel and tomatoes were okay, but my husband loved them.0 Helpful
loved the flavor short-cut it by doing it in aluminium foille. Great for lunch.0 Helpful
I loved this! It was interesting and yet not too complicated. And of course, cooking fish en papillote makes you feel fancy as hell.0 Helpful
Next time I will buy the parchment paper pouches, folding was a pAin0 Helpful
Interesting flavors, I liked each dish individually but as a meal wasn't crazy about it. Love the fish en papillote.0 Helpful