Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fish Fillets with Tomatoes, Squash and Basil

I have been a busy little bee moving from my apartment to my wonderful new house!  Now I am unpacking and with a little less urgency than a strict move in date, I have some time to breathe.  We went camping lasr weekend, and even though I didn't actually cook anything in a little pouch, it got me really excited about the idea of cooking things in little pouches.

I got this recipe for Fish Fillets with Tomatoes, Squash and Basil from the June 2012 issue of Bon Appetit - they have tons of other pouch recipes perfect for summer! I have already devoured Basil Tomato Sauce with Polenta (polenta is a surprisingly awesome substitue for pasta) and Sausages with Onion and Green Peppers were a big hit at the bar.

I love salmon and usually buy it at Costco (boneless, skinless, individually wrapped amazing fillets).  They cost about $20 for 7, so not the cheapest but also not too expensive.  I didn't want to make the drive all the way to Costco and I found an equally good version at Albertson's.  8 fillets for ~$12, but the fillets are about half the size and have the skin on.  This doesn't bother me and it has been fun to switch it up.  I recommend either for this recipe, but I think the smaller size of the Albertson fillets may cook faster in the pouch.  Note this recipe originally called for "white flaky fish such as Atlantic cod or halibut," but I like it with salmon.  I think you could use just about anything and be fine. 

I also have a giant basil plant, which I call my basil bush, dying to be picked.  I love this recipe because you can use tons of basil.  This dish would be great for having company over, as it looks amazing and the pouches make great individual servings.

Fish Fillets with Tomatoes, Squash and Basil

2 thinly sliced zucchini
1 thinly sliced shallot (shallots usually come in twos stuck together - use both)
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil divided plus 1/4 cup basil leaves
16-20 grape tomatoes sliced in half
4 tablespoons white wine (I usually use Tisdale Chardonnay as it is only $3 a bottle)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 fish fillets of your choice (as mentioned above, I used salmon)
salt and pepper
Parchment paper (I think the only viable substitute would be aluminum foil)


1) Defrost the fish if not already defrosted.  With salmon, I like to soak in warm water to defrost. Preheat oven to 400*.
2) Get 4 rather large squares of parchment paper and lay out on a work surface.

3) Divide squash among the parchment paper, arranging on one side in thin layers. Evenly divide tomatoes among pouches.

4) Add shallots, basil, and tomatoes.

5) Drizzle each packet with 1 tablespoon of wine and 1/2 tablespoon of oil.  I was worried it would spill everywhere but it doesn't.  Season with salt and pepper.

6) Add a fish fillet to each packet.  Season with salt and pepper and drizzle another half tablespoon of oil. 

7) Fold packet over to close, and crimp edges tightly.  I did a rolling type crimp and flattened the edges.

8) Place packets on a baking sheet and bake, 10-20 minutes.  I baked for 20 because I hate undercooked salmon and you don't have to worry about the food drying out because of the packets.

9) Cut packets open, watching out for the steam.  Serve with garnish of basil. 


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