This is perfect if you want a fuss free dinner that takes zero effort but actually sounds a bit posh!
Essentially en papillote means ‘in paper’ It’s a healthy way of cooking fish or chicken by adding herbs, wine, oil or butter, and sealing inside an envelope of paper to cook, this creates a lovely steamy gentle way of cooking and infuses delicate flavours.
You can serve the little steamy parcels direct to the table for a bit of theatre, or unwrap and plate your dishes, it’s up to you.
I’ve done the hollandaise with tarragon but you can easily swap it for another herb, or enjoy it in its classic unadulterated glory. Herbs that accompany cod well are dill, parsley, basil, thyme, marjoram and rosemary.
I think lots of people shy away from hollandaise because they think its complicated or time consuming…. Its really not, in fact I think it’s probably one of the easiest and quickest sauces to make.
2 cod loin steaks 150g each (or larger if you wish)
Small bunch tarragon
Salt and pepper
Splash of white wine.
3 egg yolks
½ pack salted butter (125g)
2 tsp tarragon vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
Good squeeze lemon juice
Drop of cold water
Couple of sprigs of chopped tarragon leaves (not stalks)
Preheat oven to 175c
Cut 1 piece (or 2 if your doing individual packets) 40cm long of baking parchment.
Place the raw cod loin in the middle of one half of paper, then add a couple of blobs of butter under the fish, a sprinkle of chopped tarragon on top and then lay 2 slices of lemon per cod loin. Season, splash over a little white wine, then fold the paper over and begin to fold over and crimp the paper like a Cornish pasty shape. Scrunch the ends and tuck under.
Place on a baking tray in a preheated oven for 25 minutes on 175c
Meanwhile you can make the hollandaise.
1. Separate 3 eggs and add the yolks to a glass bowl.
2. Add 2 tsp vinegar, 2 tsp cold water and a good squeeze of lemon juice then whisk well.
3. Put ½ a pack of butter in a cup or jug and heat in the microwave or a saucepan until melted and warm.
4. Heat a saucepan of water and place the yolks in the bowl over the simmering water.
5. Whilst whisking slowly incorporate all the melted butter into the yolks and continue whisking until your sauce thickens. Don’t pour in the white watery residue that settles at the bottom of the butter. As soon as the sauce has thickened remove from the saucepan and add chopped tarragon.
6. If the sauce looks too thick at any point a splash of hot water and a quick whisk will sort it out.
Remove your papillotes from the oven, and slather with your delicious (and easy) hollandaise, I like to serve with whatever is seasonal, so we just had this with some asparagus and new potatoes.
Oh, quick tip for perfectly cooked asparagus.. pop 8 fat asparagus spears in a Tupperware with a semi fitted lid with a couple of cm’s water in the bottom, blast on high for 2 minutes and hey presto perfect al dente asparagus! No more droopy spears.
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