En Papillote is a French cooking technique in which the food is placed into a pouch or parcel and it is then baked. The food cooks quickly as steam is created inside. It is a beautiful way to cook fish as you can't overcook it. The fish stays moist and flakes apart.
If you can't get trout you could use sea bass, salmon etc... Remember if you use a really thick piece of fish the cooking time should be increased. Also you can use absolutely any vegetable. I sometimes slice fennel and carrots really thinly and use these instead of asparagus. Just use whatever is in season. Remember that some vegetables might need precooking as the 10 minutes in the oven might not be enough.
I always add a shot of Pernod as I love the hint of aniseed. This flavour goes extremely well with fish. Serve with buttery Cous Cous or new season potatoes. If you don't have parchment paper you could use aluminium foil also. The fish might stick to the foil though.
Trout En Papillote, with Asparagus
by Trevor Thornton
2 small packets of asparagus tips
2 trout fillets, de-scaled and pin boned
4 tsp butter
4-6 thin slices of lemon
2 tbsp white wine or Pernod
salt and pepper
Cut 2 sheets of parchment paper roughly 37cm x 37cm. Place the asparagus tips directly in the centre. Place the trout fillets skin side up on top of the asparagus. Dot some butter over the fillets and add slices of lemon on top. Season with salt and pepper and add a splash of white wine/Pernod. Close the sides to create a bag. You can do this any way once none of the steam escapes during cooking. Once the parcels are ready you can keep them in the fridge until you are ready to eat.
Remove the parcels from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to allow the fish to come up to room temperature. To cook, place into a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 180°C. Remove from the oven and open the bag and remove the skin before eating.