Cooking cod, a mild, white fish that takes on the flavor of the vegetables and the sauces it’s cooked with, in parchment paper is a foolproof way to keep it moist.
If fish is cooked this way, it’s easy to avoid some of the common misgivings people have when cooking fish – that it’s going to be raw or undercooked, or that it’s going to be too dry.
Here’s an easy way to determine if fish is correctly cooked: When you press your palm, it gives some. Fish should do the same, and give just a bit when pressed. Remember, when fish come out of the oven, it will continue to cook for a couple of minutes.
A basic rule of thumb is to bake fish about 10 to 12 minutes per inch of thickness in a 425-degree oven.
Pacific cod is one of the Responsible Choice selections in the Hy-Vee seafood case. It’s from a well-managed fishery that has limits in place to ensure fish will be around for future generations to eat and enjoy.
The recipe below departs from the standard lemon and dill sauce that people can tire of, using dry white wine, fresh thyme and lemon zest. Here’s another bonus: Clean-up is super easy.
Some other variations include blood orange, which are in season right now and are very good with fish. I also like to add some fresh fennel for variety.
Cod En Papillote with Fresh Vegetables
All you need:
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp plus 3 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp minced shallot
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp dry white wine
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 3 (5 oz each) cod fillets
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 parchment bag
All you do:
- Mash garlic and salt to a paste. Melt butter and 1 tablespoon oil in nonstick pan over medium heat. Add garlic paste and shallot; stir until pale golden, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice, wine, zest and black pepper. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil inside the bag. Place cod fillets in the bag and spoon generous tablespoons of garlic-lemon sauce over fish; season with about 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. Cover with asparagus, roasted red peppers and shredded carrot. Roll the parchment bag up, enclosing completely and seal with a paperclip.
- Bake fish until just opaque in center and vegetables are crisp-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately by ripping open the parchment bag, allowing steam to escape.