One of the cooking class students assembling the ingredients
during a fish class. (half were made in parchment and half
were made in foil. Plum tomatoes can also be used.)

Another student assembling her fish and ingredients
in foil. The foil packets can go outside on the grill or
inside in the oven.

Demonstrating how to fold the parchment. En Papillote
literally translates to “in parchment” and is a method
used to gently cook fish or chicken. (In Asian cuisine you
can use a banana leaf and put that on the grill or steam it.)

All wrapped up and ready to cook. They are lovely
when they come out of the oven.
I learned to make this from my French friend, Mathilde. She came flew out to visit me and this is one of the many things we cooked together in my kitchen. It is very very easy and quickly became a favorite. It is great for entertaining because you can assemble them ahead of time and then just pop them in the oven before you want to serve them. I’ve made it both with the frozen Tilapia from Trader Joe’s and the fresh Tilapia from Costco. The Costco Tilapia fillets are larger and required a few minutes more cooking time than the thinner Trader Joe’s ones.

Serves 6
6 Tilapia fillets
6 pieces of foil-large enough to fit the fish and vegetables
6 Tablespoons olive oil (1 tablespoon per fillet)
1/8 teaspoon finely ground sea salt or kosher salt, per fillet
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil for sautéing
3 cups onion, finely sliced
¾ cup water
3 medium tomatoes cut in quarters
6 Tablespoons crème Fraiche
6 Tablespoons chopped parsley
3 teaspoons lemon zest

1. In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions and season with 1 pinch of salt. After 1 minute add ¼ cup of water, let this cook down and repeat again, repeat this process of salting and adding the water one more time. You should do this step 3 times in all.
2. Lay out all of the foil pieces; lay a fillet in each one. Spread the crème Fraiche over each fillet to cover the top.
3. Divide evenly the sautéed onion, place two pieces of tomato on each. Season each fillet well with salt and pepper. Top with the parsley and lemon zest.
4. Seal up each of the foil packets by folding foil over the fish and crimping the edges of the foil like you would do to a pie crust. This step will allow the fish to steam in the foil and will also keep in any cooking juices. You can also make them in parchment paper.
5. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 8-10 minutes for thin fillets or 10-15 for thicker fillets. (The foil packets can be cooked outside on the grill or inside in the oven. The parchment can only be cooked in the oven.)

Fish Draft 1 typed by Kelly McNabb 3-09-05, Draft 2 edited and revised by Maili Halme Brocke 2006 Maili Productions Cookbook Maili Halme Brocke