Another night, another solo dinner, and this time, rather than going vegetarian, I decided to buy some seafood for myself! I believe I’ve mentioned it in the past, but seafood, really any kind, is my favorite type of food in the world. I don’t buy it as often as I’d like because of the expense involved, but ideally I’d like to incorporate at least two days worth of seafood in my weekly menus. At the moment, I’m lucky if I can do one, but someday…. someday…. Since I was just cooking for myself tonight though, the expense was minimal, hooray!!
I’ve been intrigued by the whole parchment/foil packet cooking method for a while now. I have quite a few recipes bookmarked that I’d like to try like this, and this, and this, but I just haven’t gotten around to making them. It’s not that I’m intimidated, in fact, I didn’t doubt that this was a simple cooking method, it’s just one of those things that I kept putting off for no reason whatsoever! I decided that tonight was the night, and because I had some yellow zucchini from the farmer’s market to use, and my cherry tomatoes and basil are exploding in my garden… and because this is another thing that my boyfriend wouldn’t eat due to his aversion to zucchini and tomatoes (craziness!!), this was absolutely perfect for just me. In fact this was soooooo good that I want to cook this for my family when I go on vacation with them in a week- oh my goodness, I just can’t wait for vacation!!!!!
This is an easily customizable recipe which makes it just perfect no matter what ingredients you have on hand, and what your personal preferences are. I wouldn’t omit the fish (obviously!), but you could use any kind of firm, flaky white fish, but you could customize the veggies to your choosing. Serious Eats, which is where this recipe comes from, mentions sugar snap peas and asparagus as potential substitutions.
Seriously guys, make this!!!! It is so flavorful and amazingly delicious. It is also incredibly easy and fancy looking. It’s perfect for a solo dinner, or a dinner party!
Cod en Papillote with Zucchini, Tomatoes and Basil
1 small to medium zucchini (green or yellow), thinly sliced
1 boneless, skinless cod fillet (about 6 ounces)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
A pinch of dried red chili flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
8 leaves fresh basil
8 cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into about 6 small pieces
1 tbsp dry white wine
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Tear off about a 12″ by 24″ piece of parchment or tinfoil and fold in half to make a crease. Unfold, and place on a baking sheet.
2. Assemble the packet by laying down your zucchini in the center of one of the sides of the parchment paper, leaving at least a one-inch border. Place cod on the bed of zucchini, then sprinkle on salt and pepper, chili flakes and garlic. Place the basil leaves on top, and your cherry tomatoes (they will probably want to roll off, but I found placing them stem side down helps). Then top with your butter pieces, olive oil and white wine.
3. Fold the parchment paper in half over the fish and start crimping from one corner, and going all the way around to the other side to secure.
4. Bake for about 12 minutes, until the fish is cooked though.
5. Once done, you can place the parchment packet directly on your plate, and open at the dinner table.
Source: Slightly adapted from Serious Eats