Poisson en Papillote (Fish Baked in Parchment Packets)

See the RecipeLandon Nordeman

This simple preparation of red snapper, inspired by the restaurant Le Brulot in Antibes, calls for cooking the fish in a parchment packet with white wine, lemon, and fresh herbs, trapping the fish's delicious juices and keeping it moist. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2012 issue along with Sylvie Bigar's story The Road to Paradise.

Poisson en Papillote (Fish Baked in Parchment Packets)
This simple red snapper preparation steams the fish with white wine, lemon, and fresh herbs, trapping the delicious juices and keeping the fish moist.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 (4-oz.) red snapper filets
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 16 sprigs thyme
  • 8 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 12 cup white wine
  • 14 cup finely chopped herbs, such as parsley, chives, tarragon, or chervil (any combination)
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 450°. Cut out four 16" x 10" heart-shaped pieces parchment paper; fold hearts in half lengthwise to form a crease down the middle. Place a filet in the center of one half of one heart, placing it next to the crease; season with salt and pepper, and place 4 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs rosemary, 1 bay leaf, 1 tbsp. butter, and 1 tbsp. oil on top. Fold other half of heart over filet, and starting at the narrow end, begin folding open edges up; move 12" down the fold and create another fold. Repeat folding until packet is almost closed at the wide end; pour 2 tbsp. wine in open hole, and then fold to close it tightly. Transfer packet to a baking sheet, and repeat with remaining parchment paper hearts, filets, herbs, butter, oil, and wine.
  2. Bake until fish is cooked through, about 8 minutes. To serve, open packets and discard whole herbs; transfer filets to serving plates, sprinkle with finely chopped herbs, and serve with lemon wedges.