Friday, March 18, 2016

Fennel Orange Cod en Papillote #FishFridayFoodies

A filet of cod atop sliced fennel and covered in slices of blood orange is cooked in a parchment parcel - en papillote - which makes the most delicate of broths, the perfect accompaniment to the tender fish. 

Here’s the thing about cod, like all white fish, it doesn’t have the oil of its darker brethren so there is a real danger of overcooking it and drying it out. Cooking any kind of fish or seafood en papillote, or wrapped in a foil or parchment pouch minimizes that risk, by essentially steaming the fish and keeping the juices locked in. This month our Fish Friday Foodie event is hosted by Karen of Karen’s Kitchen Stories and she’s got us all cooking en papillote. As you will see by the wonderful recipes at the bottom of this post, the variations are myriad, but they are all delicious.

Ingredients per person
1 piece cod – about 7 oz or 200g
Black pepper
2-3 slices fennel bulb plus a few fronds
Minced red chili pepper
2 slices orange – I used a variety of blood orange
2 teaspoons butter, plus more to grease parchment paper
1 tablespoon extra dry vermouth

Note: One fennel bulb and one orange, both sliced thinly, and one small red chili pepper are sufficient for three cod en papillote.

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C. Fold your parchment paper in half and cut it into the shape of a heart. Butter it on both sides of the fold on the inside.

Lay the fennel slices on one side of the fold, leaving a gap between the fold and the fennel.

Note: I have mine too close to the fold in these photos and had to scoot the whole thing over about half an inch or one centimeter to the right to close the parchment heart.

Lay the cod filet on top of the fennel and season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle on a few bits of minced red chili pepper.

Top with two slices of orange. Add one teaspoon of butter to the top of each orange and then a sprinkle of fennel fronds.

Fold the heart over to close. Starting at the top of the heart, fold and crimp the parchment to seal it around the edges.

When you get to the very bottom, pour in the vermouth and twist the point of the heart. Tuck it under.

Place parchment packet on a baking pan and bake in your preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before opening.

Choose a plate with a rim or shallow bowl to serve because you don’t want to lose any of the lovely fragrant broth that is created by cooking the cod in parchment.

Garnish with a few more fennel fronds.


Check out all the other lovely seafood dishes cooked en papillote.


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