Sea Trout Parcels:
You can use quite a number of different fish here. It is easy, quite quick, safe, doesn’t stink out the kitchen/house/flat and won’t break the bank.
Prep: 15 mins.
Cooking: 30 mins.
Course: Lunch/Main/Supper/Dinner party
Serves: As many as the number of fish pieces….
Rating: 2. Easy. Just have confidence and it’ll be great.
This method – en papillotte/en poche – is a favourite way to cook most types of fish. See the ‘salmon in a dishwasher’ recipe for the ultimate fish parcel.
- One portion of trout/salmon/sea trout/sea bream/sea bass/marckerel/whatever fish per person. With or without skin but definitely without bones.
- White wine – a splash, or perhaps a little vermouth instead, especially if you have the vermouth and don’t have fennel seeds…….
- Lemon – or lemon juice from a bottle if pushed
- A few fennel seeds….. perhaps up to 10 per parcel – be careful with them
- A tiny splash of olive oil
- Foil to make the parcels
- Baking tray
- Gas or electricity…..or wood….peat?
- Set the oven to 200 dges C and switch it on (it helps….)
- Rinse and pat dry the fish portions.
- If cooking a whole fish on the bone, ensure that it has been gutted, washed and de-scaled fully and completely first. Sea bream/sea trout especially.
- Take a length of foil, longer than it is wide so that there is plenty of room for air inside the parcel, and lightly oil it in the middle. Crimp up the corners to make a sort of tray – you don’t want the liquid contents to escape.
- Place the fish portion into it, skin side down (whether it has skin or not).
- Cut the lemon into slices and place a slice on each fish portion. If it’s a whole fish, pop a bit into the cavity as well. If you don’t have a lemon, you can use bottled lemon (or lime) juice instead.
- Splash some white wine or vermouth over the fish. Don’t drown it. (HA! How can you drown a fish when it’s dead, eh…..don’t be silly, Colin!)
- Sprinkle the fennel seeds evenly.
- Season with a little salt (milled sea salt is best, but…..) and an amount of freshly milled black pepper or 5 bais (See Tricks’n’Tips….)
- Wish it a bonne voyage, and carefully fold in the ends and the top of the package. It should be fairly securely sealed, but don’t get paranoid about it. It’ll be in the oven, on a baking tray and won’t be jumping around a great deal, so it shouldn’t leak.
- Put all packages onto the baking tray and pop into the middle of the oven and leave it for half an hour or so. Not long enough to nip down t’pub, but long enough to crack a tinnie or pop a cork……. But you have the rest of the meal to get ready, so have your tipple as you get a wiggle on…..
- After 30 mins or so, take the baking tray out of the oven and put each parcel onto its own plate and let everyone oopen their own parcel.
- This is lovely served with a nice, light Basmati/jasmine rice, together with posh veg. The sauce will be lovely, the fish gorgeous and the faces of the diners a picture….especially as their glasses will steam up when opening their parcels.
- Oh yes, and have a bowl of cold water ready for them to plunge their scalded fingertips into as the resultant steam takes their skin off!