We’ve been going pretty heavy on desserts lately so a nice light fish seems in order.

I hadn’t made this dish in almost 20 years-but I have a good reason. I love a good justification.  Just like Jeff Goldbloom said in “The Big Chill”-“Who can get through a day without a good justification?”

When I was an apprentice chef there were only some jobs that we were allowed to do.  They were usually fairly menial and if you had messed-up the day before you were demoted to roast cook.

One day we had a really huge wedding to cater (several hundred people) and one of the courses was sole en papilotte (sole cooked in paper).  This is a beautiful dish that is supremely delicate but folding several hundred parcels of sole made my hands ache for days.  I think that was the last time I made this dish until the other night.  We were having Sacher torte for dessert so something truly delicate was called for.

Take a square of parchment paper that is approx. 1 ft. by 1 ft.

Place a fillet of sole (or any other nice light fish-salmon is ok but still not great as usually it is too thick to cook well with this method), top with a grind of pepper, salt, three slices of lemon and some green beans (you can leave the veg out or use asparagus or cherry tomatoes or mushrooms or peas…).

Start at one corner and fold and  tuck (tightly) your way around the edge of the parchment, sealing the package as you go.  When you reach the end pour in a tablespoon of white wine (or chicken stock or fish stock or water) and then twist the end closed.

The sealed package.

Place on a baking sheet with one package per person.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes (package will get puffy).
Serve the unopened fish on each person’s plate and let them pierce the package (watch-out for the steam) and get bathed in the delicious smell and enjoy with a salad and a bit of rice.