If you’re the family cook, putting dinner on the table in a timely way usually trumps learning a new technique; user-friendly plating is usually more important than dramatic presentation; and ease of prep and clean-up is key. This dish fits the bill perfectly. It couldn’t be easier, people like it, it’s easy to eat, easy to clean up, it works for just about any fish. Most importantly, it’s also delicious and easy to modify.
You don’t need to follow the recipe religiously. The point is the technique — baking fish with aromatic vegetables in a foil packet — which is, like we said, simple and broadly appealing. Use whatever vegetables and herbs you have handy, and try it out with other fish (swordfish, monkfish, halibut, snapper, and cod are excellent choices). Recipe by PJ Stoops.
1 fillet ChalkStream Trout (approximately 1 lb), skin-on, boneless
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1-2 tomatoes, cored and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 navel orange, cut into 1/4-inch-thick discs
Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh sage
Splash dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 450°F and pat the fish dry.
Place a sheet of aluminum foil about 5 inches longer than the filet on the counter. Brush the foil with a little olive oil, covering an area a little larger than the filet.
Layer the vegetables on the foil, starting with onion and ending with tomatoes. Season the vegetables with a little salt and pepper. Place the fillet on the bed of vegetables and season the fillet well with salt and pepper. Arrange the orange slices and sage leaves on top. Drizzle a bit more olive oil on the fish, along with a few splashes of white wine.
Place another sheet of foil over the fish; crimp the bottom and top pieces together to form a neat little package. Make sure the package is well-closed, to let steam build up during cooking.
Place the package on the baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven. Cook for exactly 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, remove the top sheet of foil, and portion with a spoon, making sure to get the cooking vegetables as well. If you’re cooking for the family, then bring the whole baking sheet to the table, and remove the foil then — everyone present will enjoy the escaping aromas.