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Haddock Sabrosa en Papillote
By Jim Bailey, a.ka. "The Yankee Chef"

After the holiday eating, I truly need to lighten it up a bit. Something simple (as
always), fragrant and filling, in a non-guilty kind of way.

Fish is the perfect answer.

Now this recipe really doesn't have any New England ingredients but it is
Yankee in one way: simplicity! We took an elegant entrée  and "Yanked" it by
simplifying so that everyone can enjoy preparing this aromatic dish. I think you
will enjoy the great flavors "steamed" together with a taste of Mexico.

Again, as I have stated in many other columns I have written, don't let the name
fool you. This recipe is very simple to prepare. Cooking
en papillote (French for
"in parchment") is not only a quick method -- it also distributes the flavors
evenly and keeps everything moist. It is a fun way to serve an entrée -- diners
open their packets to see what's inside. You can use either parchment paper or
foil. Do not use waxed paper.

Feel free to substitute any white fish in this recipe, such as tilapia, cod, hake or
even halibut.

2 cups tightly packed cilantro
1/3 cup shelled pumpkin seeds, also called
1/3 cup grated Pecorino, Romano or Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Grated rind from one lemon
Juice from one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds haddock fillets(8 fillets)
2 cups cooked jasmine rice
12 ounces fresh green beans
1 lemon, sliced into 8 thin rounds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place cilantro and pumpkin seeds in blender or
food processor. Pulse a few times until coarsely minced. Add cheese, pepper
and lemon zest, pulse again until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add
lemon juice and oil to the mixture and pulse until fully combined and smooth.
The mixture (pesto) will be thick.

Scoop pesto into a large bowl and add haddock filets and coat evenly. Cut
parchment paper or foil into four (18-inch) long pieces. In the middle of each
piece, place 1/2 cup jasmine rice, 1/4 of the green beans and 2 grouper fillets.
Place a lemon slice on top of each fillet.

Fold the paper or foil in half, covering the fish, and crimp the edges all around
to seal the packet. If using parchment paper, it may help to secure the edges
using a metal paper clip.

Place pouches on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Open one packet
to check doneness; fish should be flaky and green beans tender. Transfer each
packet to a dinner plate and serve immediately, instructing diners to be careful
of the steam as they peel back the paper.

*If you can't find shelled pumpkin seeds, substitute sunflower kernels.

Storing pesto

Pesto is best the day it is made, as the color can fade from emerald to olive
green. But if you store pesto correctly, the taste will still be great.

Short-term storage: Store in a plastic container with a tight lid, refrigerated, for 3-
4 days. Drizzle with a little olive oil to help retain the brighter color.

Long-term storage: Make a big batch of pesto. Pour the pesto  in an ice cube tray
lined with plastic wrap. Place another piece of plastic wrap over the top of the
ice tray. Freeze for several hours, or until solid, then transfer the cubes to a
resealable plastic freezer bag. Use individual cubes as needed.

About the author: Jim Bailey is The Yankee Chef™. Bailey is a third generation chef, a
New England food historian and food columnist. His first in a series of cookbooks is due
out in January of 2013, titled The Yankee Chef. He would love to hear from anyone about
their old family recipes. Email Jim Bailey any questions or comments:
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
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