Friday, November 25

Halibut en Papillote

I have no idea why, but tonight I was big time in the mood for fish!  And not just any fish - fish cooked "en papillote" which is the fancy French way of saying "cooked in parchment paper".  Last year I went through a major phase and was cooking seafood and chicken en papillote constantly.  The best things about cooking this way: no pots or pans to clean, basically use whatever flavours you're in the mood for, and super healthy and flavorful!  Not to mention the little "packages" of love look tres impressive at dinner time! 

So off to market I went after work and picked up some lovely halibut (steaks! was told by husband to not choose these in the future b/c of offensive bones but oh well - he can buy them next time!)  The thing about living in a prairie province, halibut is expensive - like 3x more than any other fish I spied at the fish counter - but I got hell-bent on the idea of halibut and ran with it.

I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to cook with it, so just bought a ton of fresh herbs and different vegetables and figured by the time I got home, I would know what to do!

that basil was calling my name!
Halibut en Papillote
2 halibut steaks (filets maybe a better bone-free choice?)
3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
2-3 tbsp fresh basil, sliced fine
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups fresh spinach
salt & pepper
~2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 375degrees.  Prepare 2 large squares of parchment paper and fold diagonally to form a triangle.  Cut into a heart shape and open up - set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix tomatoes, basil, shallots, garlic, olive oil, lemon, salt & pepper.  Set aside.

Grab your parchment hearts and open up like a book.  On one half of the heart, pile up a cup of the spinach leaves.  Place the halibut on top and sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Top with a couple little pats of butter.

Top with half of the tomato mixture and some of the accumulated juices. 

Fold the "empty" side of the paper over top of fish etc like closing a book.  Then, starting at the inside top of the heart, crimp the edges over, following all the way to the bottom - forming a tight seal on your little package.  Repeat with the second parchment heart and the rest of the ingredients and place both packages on a cookie sheet or shallow backing dish.  I also spray the top of the packages with non-stick cooking spray before putting into the oven.

Shove in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on how thick your filets are - cook until halibut gets a flakey moist texture.  Remove from oven - place the little package on a plate and cut a little "x" on the top of the package.  I served with sliced baguette to soak up all of the lovely juices.  So delicious and easy!!!


  1. Back in Greece, baked fish or meat in baking paper is a very popular way of cooking. I love the ingredients that you used, the fish looks delicious!
    Have a nice week

  2. I love fish cooked en papillote :) My mother-in-law makes a mean salmon en papillote!

  3. This is such a fun way to make a meal. Talk about minimal mess in the kitchen! I think you're right about using a fillet instead of the steak to cut the bones out. It still looks delicious though. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  4. Looks so good and I love that way of cooking fish! Yum! Thanks for the recipe!

  5. I've always wanted to cook fish this way, but always forget when it comes down to it! Gonna have to make myself a post-it note to try this one soon =)

  6. Gosh, this is SO good and haven't had fish this way in such a long time. Your herbs and flavours in there look fabulous. I wish fish wasn't so expensive but then halibut like this is worth it!