halibut en papillote

this recipe was inspired by michelle dudash’s recipe by the same name. i added some roasted fennel that i slowly roasted in the oven with a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper. a few other changes were made.

six servings.

1 bulb fennel, white part separated and cut into thin slices bilaterally 

6 pieces wild halibut, fresh as it gets

3 TBSP unsalted butter, divided

2 containers cherry tomatoes, mixed varieties if possible, washed & halved

16 leaves basil, rolled & thinly sliced (chiffionade) 

6 tsp evoo, good quality

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tsp lemon zest

3 tsp lemon juice

3 tsp capers, smaller nonpareil variety

6 large rectangles of parchment paper, 15 X12

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. toss fennel with a tsp or two of evoo, fresh milled salt & pepper add to oven safe dish and throw in preheated oven, about 35 minutes, toss & stir after 25.  

3. wash and pat dry your halibut and let sit at room temperature, liberally dust each piece of halibut with salt & fresh milled pepper. 

4. toss halved tomatoes, basil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice w 1/4 tsp salt.

5. once your fennel is nicely roasted and cooked thru, add to the tomato salad. and turn up oven to 400 degrees. 

6. set up work station with a stack of parchment, your plate of washed & dried halibut, your bowl of cherry tomato salad & your pre cut 6 thin pads of butter.

7. lay a piece of parchment down in a diamond shape.  below the center of the diamond add one piece of halibut. a pad of butter. a good heaping of the cherry tomato salad (leaving the lemon juice in the bowl).  

8. think calzone. you are going to bring the top of the diamond down to the bottom, crease the sides and start from the left side by folding 1 inch pieces over in a fan like shape. you will make a calzone (half moon) shape when finished.  fold in corners into fan folds and try to make sure that they are relatively secure.  

9. bake on a sheet pan for 12- 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the halibut, listen for a sizzle sound and always check by pressing the center of the fish, if it’s a little firm but still has a nice push to it, it’s done.  

10. serve in shallow bowls on plates, allow each diner to carefully open each of their pouches.  be careful of steam and avoid being directly above pouches when opening.

11. i enjoy fish with some nice aromatic basmati rice andveggies or a herb salad. enjoy.