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March 19, 2018
This is about...
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        YOU CAN FIND FRESH FISH UP HERE IN THE SUMMER, BUT THERE’S NO HOOK, LINE OR SINKER IN FEBRUARY. And although Woodstock may turn into beachfront property sometime in the future, there is still no ocean in sight-- just yet. The only place to buy decent fish in town is the MEAT MARKET. It’s frozen, not fresh, but it is WILD CAUGHT from as far away as New Zealand—and it will still be delicious, especially the way I plan to cook it-- EN PAPILLOTE.
        SOUNDS FANCY, DOESN'T IT?   But it’s not. IT JUST MEANS “IN PARCHMENT” ---- simply wrapping up meat, fish, vegetables, or even fruit in a packet of parchment paper or foil, and then baked. What you end up with are these LOVELY, LITTLE, INDIVIDUALLY WRAPPED MEALS. Each packet cooks in its own steam and juices, which makes the flavors become more concentrated and even more delicious.
        The seasoning options are endless –combinations of fresh herbs, spices, some olive oil, butter, cream or wine. They’re all winners. They can be prepped in advance too. This version uses cod and finely julienned carrots, zucchini and red onion. They’re topped with garlic, lemon slices, fresh thyme, white wine and butter. What could be bad??
        You can bring these cute food presents, all puffed up in the oven, to the table and have everyone open their own. THEY’LL EVEN BECOME A SHOW.Hand out scissors, or a pointy knife, and let everyone snip or polk the parchment to release a whoosh of heavenly steam. Plus, it‘s always a fun surprise to reveal what’s inside at the table.
        To create a parchment packet takes a little practice, but nothing you can’t master. Once you get the hang of sealing the parchment, these are so easy and impressive. They’re perfect for entertaining, or a quick evening meal for one with the added bonus of VERY LITTLE CLEAN-UP.

LESSONS Learned:
1. The best way to julienne the vegetables is with a mandolin if you have one. If not make sure to slice them into very thin matchsticks.
2. Parchment is now easy to find in any grocery store.
3. The most important part of this recipe is to make sure that the packets are sealed tightly. Brushing the 3 edges with egg white will help accomplish that.
4. An oven thermometer is your best friend in this recipe. To have these cook properly, your oven temperature has to be correct. They’re cheap and you should have one anyway.
5. Don’t open the packets to test for doneness, trust the recipe. Just make sure your pieces of fish are all the same weight and size.
6. When ready, the parchment will puff up and turn light brown. And don’t worry if you leave the packets sitting in the oven a little too long, the fish (try to get wild-caught) will still remain tender and moist.


1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 red onion, julienned
1 zucchini, julienned
1 large carrot, julienned
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (4-ounce) pieces cod, halibut, sole or other white fish, skin removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper for sprinkling
1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2-3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup white wine

Make the fish:
        Place the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
        Cut four 12” x 16” pieces of parchment (A roll of parchment is 12 inches wide.) and fold in half so the 12” sides meet creating a 12” x 8” book. Open the parchment and brush egg white around the 3 edges of parchment on one side of the fold, to help seal the packet.
        In a bowl, mix together the onion, zucchini, carrot and garlic. Add the oil, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Center each fish fillet on one side of the fold, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables on top, dividing evenly. Top the vegetables with 2 lemon slices, 2 thyme sprigs, 1 tablespoon of white wine, and dot the top with 1 ½-2 teaspoons butter broken into 3 pieces.
        Bring the other half of the parchment over to cover the fish matching up the edges and press to seal with the egg white. Starting from one of the folded sides. Fold over an ½ inch and make a sharp crease. Continue working your way around the edge of the packet, making overlapping ½ inch folds always pressing firmly and creasing the edge so the folds hold. Make the final fold turn under the packet instead of over to keep it from opening. If any place doesn’t appear to be tightly sealed, just go back over it with a second fold.
        You’ll end up with an imperfect half-moon shape. Arrange the packets on a baking sheet. Bake the fish -- 12 minutes for each inch of thickness. If the filet is thin, bake for 10 minutes. My fish filets were 1 ¼ inches thick, so I baked them for 14 minutes.
        To serve, cut open the packets, watching out for escaping steam and serve directly in the parchment. Or, with a spatula, carefully take the fish out of the parchment and place onto a plate. Just make sure to pour all of the delicious juices over the fish.

Makes 4 servings. (Can make individual servings as well.)      YUM!
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