Haddock & Sauteed
Vegetables Recipe

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Haddock and Sautéed Vegetables
“en papillote”
by Charlie Burke

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In the terrace restaurant on the roof of a hotel in Uzes, a beautiful medieval
city near the Pont du Gard in the south of France, we had a sunny lunch
featuring typical local dishes of Provence and the Cote de Rhone region. I chose
an exception: salmon and vegetables cooked “en papillote.”

Literally, this means “cooked in paper” and refers to recipes which seal
ingredients in parchment paper to be baked in the oven. Purists probably
consider parchment paper necessary in this preparation, but many now
substitute aluminum foil. Sealing the pouch is essential because steam plays a
vital role in the cooking, and sealing foil is easier than paper.

Noted chef and cookbook author Jean – Georges Vongerichten has recipes for
chicken in foil which is cooked over high heat in a sauté pan, and he says the
foil puffs up like Jiffy Pop! Ether way, presentation is dramatic as steam
escapes when the pouch is opened, carrying with it the aromas of herbs and all
other ingredients.

Besides concentrating flavors, this preparation is easy, can be done well ahead
and uses little or no fat. Choose whichever fresh fish is available and add your
favorite vegetables and herbs. Shrimp and scallops would also work well with
a shorter cooking time. I have found that vegetables such as carrots and leeks,
even when thinly sliced, often do not cook during the brief time in the oven, a
problem solved by sautéing them briefly. The vegetables I was served included
endive which had been seared, along with eggplant, leeks, tomato and green

Two servings:

2 thick 6 – 8 ounce haddock fillets
2 medium leeks, trimmed, washed and thinly sliced or julienned
8 – 10 cherry tomatoes, halved (in season use any fresh tomato)
1 medium carrot, sliced lengthwise, then cut into thin julienne strips
1 summer squash or zucchini, sliced and julienned
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and ground pepper to taste
½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 – 2 teaspoons olive oil

Heat a sauté pan over medium – high heat (use a non stick pan if avoiding fat
and add ¼ cup white wine, stock or water). When pan is hot, add oil and all
vegetables except the tomatoes and cook, stirring and tossing until slightly soft.

Cut two 18 inch lengths of aluminum foil (preferably the 18 inch wide heavy
duty foil). Place some of the vegetable mix in the center of each, place the fish
fillets over the vegetables and the remaining vegetables over the fish. Sprinkle
with salt, pepper and lemon zest. Fold the foil onto itself and crimp the edges
tightly in 1 -2 inch folds. Push down on the edges to ensure the pouches are
well sealed, but leave room around the fish. The packets can be refrigerated for
several hours before cooking.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and cook for approximately 12 minutes for a fillet 1
¼ inch thick. Remove from oven and let sit for 2 – 3 minutes. Bring to the table
unopened, and let your guests cut open the foil for a dramatic presentation.
Served with rice and a salad this is as suitable for a dinner party as it is for a
family dinner, and you don’t have to point out that it is also low calorie!

About the author: An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the
vice president of the New Hampshire Farmer’s Market Association and helps
run the Sanbornton Farmers' Market. Along with his wife, Joanne, he grows
certified organic herbs, greens and berries at Weather Hill Farm in Sanbornton,
Haddock Sauteed with Vegetables
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