Have you ever had a stretch where you possibly maybe eat too many desserts too many days in a row over a Holiday weekend and you convince yourself that from now on you’re going FULL Goop and only eating steamed fish and veggies? Asking for a friend…
Recently, Chris, his dad and his brothers all went to Isle Royale National Park for a week of male bonding, fishing and hiking. On their fishing trip, they successfully caught a TON of Lake Trout and we were lucky enough to be the recipients of some of the leftover tasty fresh fish Chris brought home with him.
I had all kinds of ideas for the fish, but I went straight for cooking en papillote (in parchment), because I think it allows for the cleanest, freshest flavor of the fish. When you get fish straight out of the cold crystal waters of Lake Superior, you want to taste it! This isn’t some sad farmed tilapia dredged out from the bottom of a lake in China. This is as fresh as it gets, so we’re going light on the added flavors.
As a bonus, cooking any kind of fish en Papillote is a really great way to feel VERY healthy. There’s almost no cooking fat, you can add all kinds of vegetables and herbs and it’s an excellent way to cook fish. Plus cleanup is crazy easy, you can adapt it a million different ways AND it’s ready in <30 min!
The “recipe” here is more a formula, and one that I’ve been using for multiple years to cook fish. You can adapt the flavors, veggies, and type of fish. It takes a little practice to get used to the folding of the paper, but as long as you don’t over think it and do a decent job crimping it shut, you’re good to go!
Lake Trout en Papillote
Makes 4 packets
4 trout filets (5-6 oz each)
1 medium zucchini, cut into thin slices
1 tsp lemon zest, plus 8 slices of lemon
2 tsp fresh thyme
kosher salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
Set oven rack to middle position and heat to 425F.
Origami method: Take pieces of parchment approximately 24 inches by 15 inches (standard width of my roll, so just use whatever width yours is! No biggie.). Fold in half and starting from the bottom right corner of the folded edge, cut into a wide half-heart pattern like so:
Repeat for as many packets as you are making, then fold the hearts open, and get ready to assemble.
Just to the left of the folded seam, shingle the zucchini in two rows about the length of your fish filet. Sprinkle a 1/4 tsp of lemon zest, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper on top. Lay the fish filet on top of the zucchini, and season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil. Shingle two slices of lemon on top, and sprinkle with fresh thyme. Admire your handiwork. You are feeling VERY healthy.
Fold the right half of the heart over the fish, and fold, crease, fold and crease, all along the edge of the paper. Nothing fancy- kind of like the way you might have once made a paper football in elementary school! Seal the packets up and place them on a baking sheet. Aren’t they precious?? Now it’s time to cook!
Easier method: Buy these on Amazon and just plop your stuff inside!
Pop in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Doneness will depend on the thickness of the filet (mine were about 3/4 inch thick) and how well cooked you like your fish. For a salmon filet, I would lean more towards the 20 for well done, but if you were doing Tilapia, it would be closer to 10-15. These were perfect at 15 minutes.
Once they are done, the packets will have puffed up with steam like little fish balloons (Honestly cannot tell if that is a good or bad description…) inside the oven. Pull them out and give them a minute to deflate on their own. You can either set the paper packet on top of a plate like a little dinner present for everyone to open, or you can slide it off onto a plate to serve. I like to pair trout with a crisp white wine and some nice crusty bread. Enjoy!
ALL IMAGES AND TEXT © REBA TOLODAY / THE PROPER BINGE
DISCLAIMER: THERE ARE SOME AFFILIATE/REFERRAL LINKS IN THIS POST, AND IF YOU PURCHASE I’LL RECEIVE A SMALL PERCENTAGE IN RETURN. THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR SUPPORTING ME AND MY AMAZON SHOPPING HABIT.