Ingredients for parchment

Fish Three Ways: Paper, Salt and Nage: Chapter One PAPER

Summertime is full blown as yesterday was Summer Solstice  and all of the wonderful stone fruits are arriving daily at our local Coop. One starts thinking about pairings of fresh fruit and fish, at least I do! Friends are making fresh salsa with pineapple, stone fruit and tomatoes but for the GERD sufferer, we have to find alternatives.

I half apricots, plums and peaches, brush them with  little avocado oil and grill them for a side dish to chicken and fish. OR for dessert! Grilling helps caramelize the sugars in the fruit, wakes it up and as my husband likes to say “you have invented a new fruit!”.

I grill through the winter, making a path through the snow. SPOILER ALERT: this isn’t going to be about grilling. Sometimes, in the summer, I need a change up. Enter Parchment Paper.

This has to be one of the easiest ways to watch calories, eat clean and quickly. You can read lots of recipes on-line for fish in parchment paper and that is one of the lovely things about this recipe: it’s all about improvisation!

All the recipes are in three stages of the diet plan

First stage: The beginning, healing diet indicated with an “H

Second stage: A maintenance diet when the inflammation is gone and you are moving into a gluten and dairy free diet indicated by an “M

Third stage: Paleo indicated by a “P

H M P

Here is one suggestion that can be a starting point for future improvisations!

For one serving you need

Parchment paper square anywhere from 12″ x 12″ to 15″x15″ and a stapler (HA! MY trick when the folding fails)

1 white fish fillet: red snapper, halibut, cod, walleye, (perch family: use 3-4 if lake caught and small)

Julienne of carrot, leek and celery and/or zucchini

Lemon zest

Fresh lemon juice

Fresh thyme

Quality olive oil

NaCl and pepper

Raw ingredients ready for parchment

 Check out this photo for visual directions!

First, fold the parchment paper left to right to make a triangle. Open paper. Lay the fillet on the paper at the crease of the triangle in the middle. Than salt and pepper the fish, lay on the vegetables, salt and pepper veggies, take the thyme off the stem and place all over the veggies, drizzle oil and squeeze some lemon on it. Make a modest portion because you do not want an over-stuffed triangle or it will be hard to transfer from the baking sheet and won’t steam well in the paper.

Now comes the fun part. Fold the paper over the fish and vegetables. Fold the left edge up into a small triangle and begin to pleat it all the way around the circle. You are pleating the paper to make a seal. Here is a photo of the end product.

Fish in parchment

You see the small pleats? Then I take the right end of the now semicircle  and twist, twist, twist. Check to make sure your pleats have made a “seal”. I have been known to go back and pleat the whole thing again. And here is the trick. Let’s say that you get frustrated and think you can’t do it. Well, grab the stapler and staple the pleats that aren’t right and staple the end. This shouldn’t be about perfection. This should be about learning and enjoying the process. You have the right to learn, the right to make mistakes. I have found that the path to success was realizing that mistakes make experience and only experience makes success. You can’t jump the steps. So what if it isn’t perfect the first time! Practice pleating and with time, it goes fast and effortlessly.

Bake on a rimmed  baking sheet at 375 degrees for 18-20″. Transfer to plates, serve. To serve, give each diner a knife and watch them slice it open. The steam is hot when released from the seal, so please warn the diners to be careful. Serve with a big salad and Bob’s your uncle.

Branch out: red peppers give a wonderful splash of color, grated ginger, mushrooms especially shiitake, garlic, try salmon and shrimp. The parchment steams the fish. The veggies are cut fine enough that they retain some crispness.

CHAPTER ONE: Paper  Up next: Salt!!

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