Mediterranean Cod en Papillote: Step-by-step guide
Mediterranean Cod en Papillote is a classic French cooking method that involves wrapping fish and vegetables in parchment paper and baking them in the oven.
This recipe is simple, healthy, and super delicious, making it a perfect dinner option for busy weeknights.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of making this Mediterranean dish step-by-step, including the required kitchen tools, tips, variations, and frequently asked questions.
Required Kitchen Tools
To make this recipe, you will need a few kitchen tools and equipment, including:
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Cutting board
How To Make Cod En Papillote
Preparing the Vegetables
To begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, slice about 20 cherry or grape tomatoes in half, add about five tomatoes to each parchment paper packet, so 10 halves.
After slicing the tomatoes, place them in a bowl and set them aside.
Next, add about five olives to each packet. You can use your favorite variety of olives, but kalamata olives and green castlevetrano olives are good options.
If you are not a fan of olives, you can replace them with a spoonful of capers.
Finally, slice one medium zucchini very thinly and transfer it to a plate or bowl.
Adding the Cod
You will need four six-ounce filets of cod for this recipe. Try to get them all about the same size, and if possible, center cut pieces so that they cook evenly.
Lay a handful of the zucchini slices in the middle of one half of the parchment paper, then lay a piece of cod on top. Season the cod with salt and pepper, then lay two to three slices of lemon on top.
Wrapping the Packet
To wrap the parchment paper packet, fold it in half so that you know where the center line is.
Then, fold the edges of the parchment paper over the fish and vegetables to create a seal. Repeat this process for each piece of cod.
Baking the Cod
Once the packets are sealed, place them on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. If your cod is on the thinner side, it will cook faster.
Check the fish for doneness by opening one of the packets and using a fork to flake the fish. If it flakes easily and is opaque, it’s done.
Serving the Dish
When the fish is cooked, remove it from the oven and transfer the packets to individual plates. Carefully open the packets, being careful not to burn yourself with the steam.
The cod should be flaky and tender, and the vegetables should be cooked to perfection. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Tips and Variations
There are many ways to customize this recipe to your liking. Here are a few tips and variations:
- Use different types of fish: While cod is a great choice for this recipe, you can also use other types of fish, such as halibut, salmon, or tilapia.
- Experiment with different vegetables: This recipe works well with a variety of vegetables, including asparagus, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
- Try different herbs and spices: You can add a variety of herbs and spices to the fish and vegetables to change the flavor profile. Some good options include thyme, rosemary, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
- Use different citrus fruits: While lemon is a classic choice for this recipe, you can also use other citrus fruits, such as lime or orange.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does en papillote mean?
A: En papillote is a French cooking method where you combine fish and other veggies into a parchment paper packet and then steam it in the oven. It translates to “in parchment.”
Q: What kind of fish should I use for this recipe?
A: While you can really do any fish en papillote, the recipe specifically calls for cod. It’s light, fresh, and presents beautifully. However, you could experiment with other types of fish if you prefer.
Q: Can I use frozen cod for this recipe?
A: Yes, you can use frozen cod in this recipe. However, note that frozen cod tends to be thinner than fresh, so you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Q: Can I add other vegetables to the packet?
A: Absolutely! This recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, olives, thinly sliced zucchini, and shallot, but you can experiment with other vegetables if you like. Just be sure to slice them thinly so that they cook properly in the oven.
Q: Can I use something else instead of olives?
A: If you’re not a fan of olives, you could use a spoonful of capers instead. They add a similar briny flavor to the dish.
Q: How long should I cook the packets in the oven?
A: The recipe calls for cooking the packets in a preheated 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for 12-15 minutes. However, if your cod is on the thinner side, you may need to cook it for slightly less time.
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Mediterranean Cod en Papillote Recipe
- Total Time: 35 minutes
This recipe is a simple, healthy and delicious dinner that involves combining fish and vegetables in a parchment paper packet and then steaming it in the oven.
4 6-ounce wild cod fillets
20 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
20 kalamata or green castelvetrano olives, sliced
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
8–12 lemon slices
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
4 precut parchment paper sheets
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice the cherry or grape tomatoes in half and set aside.
- Slice the olives and set aside.
- Slice the zucchini thinly and set aside.
- Slice the shallot thinly and set aside.
- Slice the lemons into 2-3 slices per fillet and set aside.
- Take a precut parchment paper sheet and fold it in half.
- Place a handful of sliced zucchini in the middle of one half of the parchment paper.
- Lay a fillet of cod on top of the zucchini.
- Season the cod with salt and pepper.
- Lay 2-3 slices of lemon on top of the cod.
- Add a portion of sliced shallot, sliced olives, and sliced tomatoes.
- Add a sprig of fresh thyme on top of the vegetables.
- Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over everything.
- Fold the top half of the parchment paper over the fish.
- Starting at the back folded part on one side, crimp the sides of the parchment paper together, folding it over itself to create a seal.
- Repeat the process with the remaining fillets.
- Place the packets on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cod.
- Remove from the oven and allow the packets to cool for a minute or two.
- Carefully cut open the packets and transfer the fish and vegetables to a plate.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: MEDITERRANEAN