Snapper in a parcel

by Lauraine Jacobs/Maggie Beer | Cuisine issue #127
Serves: 4Serving fish en papillote is a breeze, and it means that you can create any number of different sauces by just adding a few flavourings to the parcel before cooking.

A little butter, cream, extra virgin olive oil, wine, fresh herbs, slices of Meyer lemon or a dash of lemon or lime juice, in whatever combination takes your fancy. Salmon fillets or cutlets are also delicious when treated this way.

extra virgin olive oil for cooking
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced, fronds reserved
4 x 200g snapper fillets of equal thickness, skin removed
1 Meyer lemon, sliced
handful fresh chervil sprigs or bay leaves (optional)
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan, then sauté the fennel over medium heat until cooked through.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Liberally oil 4 sheets of baking paper or foil large enough to wrap the fish fillets. Arrange the cooked fennel and reserved fronds on the paper as a bed for the fish. Position the fillets on top, then add the lemon slices, followed by the chervil or bay leaves if using. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, then season and carefully fold in the edges to seal the parcel. Transfer the parcels to a baking tray (a scone tray is ideal for this) and bake for 8 minutes. Let the fish rest for another 5 minutes before serving.

When everyone opens their parcels they will be surrounded by a wonderful aroma as the juices spill on to the plate. Drizzle over a little more extra virgin olive oil, add a boiled waxy spud and a green vege or salad and your meal is complete.

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