Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Steamed Milkfish En (Faux) Papillote
I just love the phrase "en papillote." Sounds more sophisticated than "wrapped in parchment paper." Don't you think so? :) Since this fish is wrapped in foil, I had to put the word "faux" because I did not use parchment paper and I do not know the French term for foil. :)
Cooking "en papillote" is a method in which you seal the food in a pouch and bake (or grill, or steam, as what I did.) The food essentially steams and cooks in its own juices. Making the dish naturally tasty. Fish, having delicate meat, is perfectly suited to this technique. The method is also incredibly easy and has the added benefits of being a low fat method of cooking and easy to clean up. Healthy and easy are synonymous with this kitchen.
En Papillote usually uses parchment paper. But in my grandmother's kitchen, we have always used foil, which is convenient, spill-proof, and leak proof.
Some secrets to a succesful en papillote cooking are:
1) Always use fresh ingredients. The fish or meat will be cooked in its own juice, so if it is fresh, the dish will taste fresh. If the fish is not so fresh, the dish might turn out to be "fishy."
2) Use various fresh herbs and condiments that will naturally compliment the fish. This will bring out the natural taste of the fish and enhance instead of overpower the taste.
3) Adding white wine and olive oil would add a different dimension to your fish, though these are optional.
Here is what I did:
1) Cut a foil big enough to wrap and cover the whole fish.
2) Begin by laying out the deboned milkfish (you can use any kind of white fish fillet, or whole deboned fish) on the pre-cut foil.
3) Please refer to the topmost picture, sprinkle sea salt and red chilli peppers on the fish. Spread some chopped tomatoes, onions and garlic. I also added freshly cut dill from my balcony garden. Splash with 2 tablespoons of semi-dry white wine.
4) Close the fish, with all the herbs inside. See the second picture above. Fold the foil and close the edges together.
5) Steam in medium heat for around 15 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of your fish).
6) Serve immediately.
Result? Very, very tasty, naturally flavored, soft and flaky fish. Hubby declared it the best milkfish dish he had ever tasted.
Sharing this tasty and healthy dish with the Grow Your Own community. Grow Your Own is a twice a month food event headed by Andrea of Andrea's Recipes, to celebrate the foods we grow or raise ourselves and the dishes we make using our homegrown products. This edition's host is Rachel of The Crispy Cook. To see last week's delicious round-ups, please check out the round-up done by yours truly!