SEA BASS PAPILLOTES
Papillotes are magic. When the puffed parcels arrive at the table and guests cut theirs open, the perfume of the contents is released like The Genie of Appetites. So be sure to put happy smells inside! This is a perfect way to cook sh, keeping it moist, and the packages can be made ahead and cooked later for an après-red carpet event. The only caution is
to rehearse one sacri cial bundle and cook it ahead to know the cooking time in your oven. Here I used sea bass, with the skin removed unless you enjoy it soft. Many other sh succeed as well, such as cod, sole, salmon, whiting - most any boneless llet. Following my ‘unconstructed’ philosophy this week, I scatter ingredients for a green olive tapenade over the sh to do what they will, unscripted.
FOR 4 PERSONS
• 1/2 fennel bulb, very nely shaved
• 1 small leek and 1 carrot, cut in ne julienne strips
• olive oil
• salt and pepper
• Parchment paper or special ovenproof papillote cooking bags
• 4 boneless llets of sh, 150 - 180 g/5 -6 ounces each
FOR THE ‘CASUAL’ GREEN TAPENADE TOPPING
• 1/2 cup Picholine green olives, pitted
• 1 preserved lemon, insides removed
• 2 tablespoons capers
• handful of parsley
• 2 anchovies
Toss the fennel, leek and carrot in a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide the vegetables among 4 oiled parchment paper rectangles or papillote bags and place a sh llet on top.
Make the topping by coarsely chopping all the ingredients. Pat over the top of the sh llet and drizzle over a little olive oil. Thoroughly fold the edges of the paper to make a tight seal all around, or tie the bags closed.
Bake at 220C/450F for about 10 minutes, until the bundles have puffed and browned. If in doubt open one bag to see if she shakes (nice consonance there!). Serve at once while the packages are puffed and let guests cut them open to release the seductive aromas.