After that sadsack post from the other day, let’s do something interesting. “En papillote” is basically a fancy way of cooking something in a paper bag or package. Or, cooking in a sack, as I like to call it. Heh, sack.
So just an important note — as a rule of thumb, when you’re buying fresh fish, check to make sure that what you’re buying doesn’t reek of fishy odor, kind of like Paris Hilton when she’s trolling for rich men. I know that sounds stupid, but the fishier the food smells, the more likely it is to be old. And old fish is not good fish. While diarrhea is always hilarious when somebody else has it, I’m sure you don’t want diarrhea. If you do, feel free to buy the old fish. Good times.
Another thing you’ll want is parchment paper. It is easy to find in most stores, and you can usually find it near the aluminum foil. You know, the same foil you can make those useful hats out of, the ones that block alien transmissions. Yes, THAT foil. It can do anything.
Now that this is all out of the way, LET’S COOK, BITCH!
- Cod or any whitefish fillets of your choice
- Sliced prosciutto
- Lemon Zest from one or two lemons (more fish, more zest!!!)
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Thyme (fresh or dry, fresh tastes livelier)
- Any other herbs you’d like too!
- Parchment paper (you can get this at all big groceries)
- Paris Hilton
Preheat your oven to 500° F. Yes, you heard me. If you’ve got a dirty oven, be prepared for your smoke detector to go off, you dirty penis.
I always start this recipe by trimming the woody stems of the asparagus, then blanching the asparagus just for a few minutes. That way you can ensure the asparagus is cooked all the way through later, but you might be able to get away with not doing that.
Now melt some butter in a saucepan (I’d say about quarter of a stick in a pan for every four fillets, but that’s a rough guess), and toss in a clove or two of minced garlic, the lemon zest, the thyme and any other herbs you have on hand, the salt and pepper, and let it all kind of sit together on medium-low heat. Don’t let it burn. Just let the flavors mix and leach out into the butter.
Pull out equal measures of parchment paper per piece of fish and lightly spread olive oil on each piece where the fish will be sitting. The parchment can be big, but don’t make them gigantic. Enough to wrap up the cod like it was a small gift, let’s say. A gift that won’t be returned to you because it’ll be in somebody’s stomach. You don’t want that returned to you.
Salt and pepper each fillet of cod gently — not too much, remember that there’s salt and pepper in your lemon herb-butter mixture already. Spoon a generous amount of lemon herb-butter onto each fillet sitting on the parchment paper, spread it over the fish. Place a few prosciutto pieces on top of the cod, and add the asparagus on top. Arrange this attractively because this is what the guests will see when they tear into this shit.
Here’s my personal side note about the prosciutto in the bag — last time I made this recipe the prosciutto kinda got gross in the bag being steamed with the fish. The texture got a bit weird, rubbery, and dry, so be careful. I would recommend trying the recipe once with the prosciutto in the bag (it’s not horrible, trust me — it just turns into cooked ham, but its just not the same as fresh prosciutto). If you don’t like the texture, you can open the bag before serving and add fried prosciutto as a crunchy garnish if you prefer.
Wrap the package any way you’d like using the parchment paper. You can make it fancy, with cooking twine on top, or you can make it ghetto style, like me, with…staples. Yeah staples, fuck you. I’m lazy.
Toss the neat little packages onto a cookie sheet, and throw it into the oven for about 12 minutes. It cooks fast so do NOT run away.
You can let your guests open the bags at the dinner table because that way they feel special. Real special.
PS. If this recipe looks familiar, I stole it from here. I liked it that much.