The key to perfectly cooked fish? Break out that roll of parchment paper! This recipe for seafood in parchment packages is the BEST way to cook fish and have it come out beautifully tender every time. Mix it up with all kinds of different seafood filets, veggies and cheeses for a seafood supper everyone will love!
The Southern husband and I have been trying to work more seafood into our suppers lately. We are fabulous beyond fabulous when it comes to shrimp recipes, and not too shabby on the scallop and lobster front too. But there’s something about regular old fish that always seemed to stump me…until now. I now realize that the key to making fool-proof, creative, scrumptious fish was in my kitchen the whole time. Yup, that roll of parchment paper in my drawer has changed my life, seafood-wise.
It’s so easy it doesn’t even seem fair, and while the basic method stays the same, the cast of characters can be changed up endlessly, from the fish itself to the ingredients you cook it with, to whatever you decide to top it off with. But before we go there, let me tell you about that basic method.
First you need a square of parchment paper for each serving. You can find parchment right next to the foil and plastic wraps in your supermarket. I always have some on hand for baking…parchment is a fabulous thing. Anyway, rip off a few sheets roughly 15×15 inches, and spread them on one side with butter. This will both add to the taste and make them lay flat.
Now place your fish of choice in the center. I went with a 1/4 pound piece of cod filet for each packet in this recipe. Then I topped it with some artichoke hearts, a few halved cherry tomatoes, a generous scattering of feta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. A sprinkling of salt and pepper and I was ready to fold things up.
Bring one side of the parchment across the fish, and then bring the other side over, so you have a long rectangle. Now tuck the ends underneath…and that’s it! Lay the packets on a foil-lined rimmed baking pan…the packets will hold most of the juice inside, but in case some seeps out you are guaranteed easy clean-up that way.
Bake your packets for about 15 minutes. The fish is basically going to steam to tender perfection inside the packet. The veggies will be warm and juicy, the cheese will be melty…it’s basically now a parchment package full of heaven.
Now you can do one of two things. You can open up the packets yourself and pour the whole thing over rice or spinach or something along those lines. There is going to be a lovely little sauce inside that is a conglomeration of juices from the fish and the veggies and the cheese.
Or, you can simply pop each packet on a plate and let your lucky diners each have the fun of tearing open their own package and eating it straight out of there. I like to put a couple of lemon wedges on the side, along with some crusty bread to sop up the sauce.
The only issue with going this direction is that you might have the overwhelming urge to eat the parchment paper. If you are me, anyway. It looks so pretty, and dangerously like phyllo pastry. Restrain yourself…take it from me.
So there you have it – and I will never be at a loss for what to do with seafood suppers again. Next up: red snapper with sugar snap peas, walnuts and olive oil. And on and on and on!
- 1 pound cod filet
- 1 package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 1/2 cup feta (or more if you like things extra cheesy!)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (more or less)
- Salt and pepper
- Butter for parchment paper, room temperature
- 2–3 tablespoons capers
- Lemon wedges and bread slices for serving, if you like!
- Preheat oven to 425. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Cut four squares of parchment paper, 15 x 15 inches. Rub one side of each parchment square with butter.
- Cut fish into four pieces and place in the center of each square. Top with artichokes, tomatoes and feta, dividing them evenly among the servings. Drizzle olive oil over each and sprinkle on a little salt and pepper.
- Fold one side of parchment across the fish, and then fold the other side so you have a thin rectangle. Tuck each of the ends underneath the package. Place on baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- You can either empty the contents of each package over rice or spinach, or place each packet on a plate with lemon wedges and bread on the side and let your guests tear in to the packages themselves. Tear gently and be careful of the steam whichever way you do it. Sprinkle with capers and dig in!