The theme for the 17th week of Tessa Kiros' recipes at I Heart Cooking Club was "White as Snow" More precisely, this is what was on the IHCC site for the week: "The view outside your kitchen window is white as snow..." well, yes, it is, definitely white snow out there when I was making this week's recipe.
In the Tessa Kiros book Apples for Jam, each chapter is divided into colors, which is quite fun actually when you look through it all. Sometimes the theme at IHCC this rotation with Tessa Kiros has incorporated that theme by claiming a color for a certain week's selection. This week the color was white. I opened the book, each recipe looked worthy and I was wavering back and forth which one I would choose. Until I got to this recipe: Baked Fish Parcels. All the other recipes receded from my mind as I knew this was the perfect one for me for white week, it wasn't until just now that I looked beyond that and saw that there were 5 more white recipes (all desserts) after this one.
I first fell in love with doing parchment packets when I was doing Whisk Wednesdays (remember the days when we were Whisk Chicks, Natashya?) and we were cooking French food from Le Cordon Bleu at Home...finding another parchment package recipe to try now interests me each and every time. This recipe was a very nice one, takes very little time to assemble and bake, and the flavors are wonderful. A couple of new things I learned from this recipe and will incorporate when I do packets in the future were first, Tessa has us take the rind off the lemon before placing the lemon slices on the fish in the parcel (a nice technique as you can eat the lemon with the fish this way unlike the other way I have done it, which was leave the rind on for baking and that lemon rind is not good to eat with the fish as it doesn't have enough time to cook thoroughly so it has a bitter flavor rather than a soft lemon taste), and the other thing I liked was the way that she directed us to slice the garlic and put it in as a slice rather than dicing it up (when the garlic finished cooking in the parcel it was soft and sweetly toasted garlic, very nice in bits with the fish). This is definitely a repeat! Often.
Baked Fish Parcels
Apples for Jam)
1/2 cup of dry breadcrumbs
4 thick firm whitefish fillets (about 4 ounces each, bones removed)
4 thick slices of lemon, rind removed
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
8 small thyme springs
5 Tablespoons of red wine
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut four pieces of aluminum foil or parchment paper quite a bit larger than your fish fillets.
Put the bread crumbs on a plate and pat the fish in them to coat both sides. Sprinkle the fish lightly with salt and put each fillet on a separate piece of foil. Put a lemon slice on top, drizzle with a tablespoon of oil, and put a garlic clove half and 2 thyme springs on each.
Close up the parcels so that you will be able to open them easily. Fold the top sides of the foil up and then fold or roll them down. Fold in the ends to seal them. Drizzle the rest of the oil over the bottom of your oven dish. Put the fish parcels in the dish and bake for about 20 minutes. You should be able to smell the cooked fish, but I usually gently open one parcel with a fork and spoon just to check that it is cooked and then seal it up again. Wait for 3-4 minutes (so that the oil doesn't spit, then drizzle the wine into the dish and put it back into the oven. When you start to hear activity from the oil, in about 3-4 minutes, remove the dish from the oven again. The wine will have reduced to almost nothing, but adds a lovely perfume to the fish. Serve the parcels immediately, unopened, helping children to open their packages and not get too close to the steam.