“Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?” Peter Mayle, A Year in Provence
Cooking “En papillote” is a fancy way to say a dish is cooked in a packet, usually made out of parchment paper, which seals in all the flavorful juices as it bakes. It is so easy, it can get a weeknight meal on the table in mere minutes. The whole packet is brought to the table at each guest’s place and with a fourish, cut open with scissors, to simultaneously release the sublime aromas and reveal the beautiful dish. It is fun and dramatic. In this particular dish I chose Provençal flavors to accompany Mahi-Mahi fillets.
Provencal Mahi-Mahi En Papilotte
Mahi Mahi fillet
salt and pepper
chopped kalamata olives
shredded basil leaves
The measurements are approximate. For each serving, on a piece of parchment paper about 12″ wide, off-center place a dab of butter and spread thinly sliced onions and minced garlic about the length of the fish fillet. Add the fish fillet and season simply with salt and pepper. Scatter chopped fresh tomatoes, sliced Kalamata olives, more minced garlic, slivers of fresh basil and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or white wine. Add capers if you like them. The edges are then folded from one end to the other, bottom to top and tucking the ends under to create a half moon pillow. Brush a light coating of oil on the packet before baking so it browns and crisps up nicely as it bakes.
The packets are baked at 425F for 10-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish fillet, on a baking sheet. Use a spatula to transfer the packets to each serving plate. Voilà! Provençal Mahi~Mahi En Papilotte! Make sure to serve some crusty bread to sop up the flavorful cooking juices.