I like fish but it’s not really a staple in my kitchen because Kevin’s not a huge fan, and it can be a bit high maintenance (a.k.a. messy and stinky). But as I recently learned, cooking fish can be simplified! In this episode my friend Parker Wallace shows us how to cook a delicious cod with Mediterranean style tapenade, using the famed parchment paper wrap technique, or “en papillote” if we want to be fancy. Parker is a
CBS Atlanta lifestyle reporter by day who is an amazing cook by night; she’s known to prepare a gourmet meal for her man every night (and has the Facebook pics to prove it!). She has even dabbled as a personal chef and is working on a book about man-catching recipes. I’ve read a preview and it’s quite juicy.
The parchment paper trick is definitely a keeper to create rich, flaky fish, and to reduce the fish “smell” that can linger during and after cooking. I’ll also say the smell factor really depends on both 1) freshness and 2) type of fish you cook. Any0ne whose ever had great sushi knows that super fresh fish has barely any smell. As for what type you choose to cook, oilier fish like salmon tends to have a stronger odor, while less oily fish does not. I’d stick with very flaky white fish such as halibut and tilapia if you’re a newbie or might be preparing fish in, say, a small city apartment.
Baked Cod with Mediterranean-Style Tapenade
For each 4-oz cod fillet you’ll need
A pat of butter
Sprig of Fresh Thyme
Slice of lemon
1 Egg, beaten (to seal parchment paper)
For the tapenade:
2 fresh garlic cloves
1 roasted red pepper (jarred)
2 Tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes in oil
handful of green olives
handful of kalamata olives
1 Tablespoon capers
Crumbled goat or feta cheese
I recommend just watching the episode to get the technique for the parchment paper down— it’s kinda hard to explain but I’ll do my best!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place your piece of parchment paper (about 9 X 12 in.) on the counter or cutting board. Arrange one cod fillet in the top center of the paper. Add a pat of butter, sprig of thyme, splash of white wine and lemon slice on top of the fish and season with sea salt and pepper. Using a pastry brush, paint a line of egg wash around the perimeter of the paper, about 1/2-inch from the edge. Fold paper in half to seal in the fish like an envelope. Starting from the bottom left corner, fold and roll the paper over itself in 1/4 inch sections, continuing along the edge toward the bottom right corner until you’ve sealed the fish in its little parchment paper pocket. Transfer each parchment packet to a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
For the tapenade, place all ingredients except the goat cheese into a mini-processor. Pulse about 15-30 seconds, until blended but still very chunky (if you pulse too long the tapenade will get soupy). Transfer tapenade mixture to another bowl and top with a handful of crumbled goat cheese. Remove fish from its parchment packet when ready and plate. Spoon a few tablespoons of tapenade on top of baked fillet.
My top: Michael Stars Shine Maternity V-Neck Henley (I think the shine one is sold out, but this one on their site is similar!)
Photos: Kofi Oliver