Saturday, 14 July 2012

Daring Cooks July 2012: Cooking En Papillote

Our July 2012 Daring Cooks’ host was Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie! Sarah challenges us to learn a new cooking technique called “Cooking En Papillote” which is French and translates to “cooking in parchment”.

I haven't taken part in one of these challenges for a while, mainly because it just hasn't fitted in with WeightWatchers or because I didn't have the right ingredients etc. but I love cooking en papillote as I think everyone knows and it's a really healthy way to cook, so healthy, it fitted in perfectly with my diet and I made two different dishes. The first was this Smoked Sea Bass (which was divine) and Potato En Papillote and the second coming tomorrow was one of the suggested recipes Lime Bay Scallops with Angel Hair Pasta.

This dish was so so good. I bought the Sea Bass a little while ago when Borough Market still had a farmers market section to it, which sadly has gone, from a wonderful fisherman who caught and sold his own fish. He had a really interesting selection of fish, including gurnard which we had the same night, and this smoked sea bass which I knew I had to try. It was delicious, smokey, flaky, soft, just so good! If you can find it, I urge you to try it.

Smoked Sea Bass and Potato En Papillote
(Serves 2)
(7 WW ProPoints per serving)

250g new potatoes, sliced 3-4mm thick
2 smoked sea bass fillets
squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
75g frozen peas
75g asparagus tips
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the potato slices and return to the boil. Cook for 5-7 mins until tender then drain.

Meanwhile, cut two large rectangles of baking parchment, each approx 35x50cm. Fold each one in half to make a seam then open it out again. Working on one half of each piece of parchment, place the potatoes in the centre. Position the smoked sea bass on top. Season with pepper, adding a squeeze of lemon juice.

Mix the tomatoes, peas, asparagus and herbs together then tumble the mixture over the fish. Add one tbsp water to each parcel then fold the parchment back over the top of the ingredients.

The next step is to seal the parcels. Working from the end of one edge, fold one corner up to make a narrow triangle about 5 cm long. Make another fold in the same way, starting halfway along the first triangle so the point is sealed in as you fold, and repeat all the way around the parcel. You will end up with something that looks like a Cornish pasty.

Place the parcels on a large baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 mins, by which time the fish should be cooked through and starting to flake.Open the parcels carefully and serve immediately.


  1. Great job! This looks delicious!

  2. I too loved that this was a healthy, weight conscious and easy to do challenge. Yours looks great.

  3. I love healthy recipes that taste great. This looks wonderful.

  4. So colorful and full of flavor with all the fresh vegetables. And, I'd like to find a source for that sea bass.

  5. That was one of the things I really loved about this challenge - it was so healthy (although I suppose if you used heaps of butter then not so much!). And that is precisely why I joined Daring Cooks and not Daring Bakers :)