Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tilapia in Papillote with leeks, asparagus and compound butter

Tilapia on Andrea the Kitchen Witch??  No, you're eyes aren't playing tricks on you.  Tilapia IS what today's post is about and, get this, I actually liked it!  This is a Kitchen Witch first!!  For those of you who don't know the Kitchen Witch does not like fish.   Unless it's batter dipped and deep fried, then it's pretty tasty.  Outside of that version the Witch was pretty convinced that all fish tasted like the dirty water it was pulled out of.  Eww.  She tried to make fish a few times before for the Husband (who adores fish) and every time the Witch was grossed out, tried a bite and couldn't do it.  The last time she tried to make fish, the fish had gone bad unbeknownst to her and well, that was scarring, let's just leave it at that.  Then came along Jenn, from Jenn's food Journey.  Jenn and I have been BFF (Blogging Foodie Friends) for a while now.  Her blog is awesome and she has been known to turn out a mean tilapia dish.  Week after week the Witch read Jenn's blog, looking at fish dish after fish dish and wondering, why, oh why! can't I like fish too???   The Witchy family had been asking for some variety in their protein choices,"Please can we have fish?"  Time after time the Witch said "I'll think about it" and promptly walked directly past the fish department in lieu of pork or chicken.   Suddenly, that changed.

One day while at the Sunflower Farmers Market the Witch found herself in front of the seafood department and wouldn't you know it, but out of her mouth came these words: "I'll take a pound of tilapia, please".  Proudly the Witch took her fish home and put it in the freezer.  There it stayed for over a month (so much for  bravery!) before she finally got up the courage to make the fish.  When she did, she was a HUGE baby about it; the Witch actually cried and pitched a full on hissy fit about the fish, one that her 5 yr would have been proud of.  It wasn't cute people.  The Husband said something snarky along the lines of "Watch, you'll discover that you love fish and it'll become your new favorite protein".  That really really pissed off the Witch at the time, but as it turns out, he was right.   The dish that Jenn recommended I try first was Parmesan Garlic Tilapia.  It was really really good!   If you're looking to convert a fellow fish hater, try this one.  It worked for the Witch (and she's a tough sell let me tell you!!)

Damn that Husband for being right (again)! As it turns out, the Kitchen Witch doesn't hate all fish.  As a matter of fact, after having tilapia the first time her mind hasn't stopped creating fish recipes.   Now the Witch realizes that papillote isn't a new cooking method in the slightest, and the flavors here aren't new or innovative.  Leeks, asparagus and white wine have been paired with fish more often than not;  they're good with fish!  The papillote method is a very easy to assemble, it's impressive to serve and most of all provides perfectly cooked moist fish every time.  I'll be the first to admit the tilapia isn't the most flavorful fish (which is why it's a great 'starter fish'), so if you have a favorite white fish, please use it here.  The fish could have used some more herbs, too, but my herb garden is only producing chives and parsley so far this year.  If you have fresh herbs, use them!  The finished dish is beautiful on the plate and tastes pretty darn good, too.  I hope you give this a try!

Tilapia in Papillote with leeks, asparagus and compound butter
makes 4 servings
4 tilapia filets
2 leeks dark green cut away, sliced into quarter moons and rinsed well
20 asparagus spears
1/2 stick butter
2 T fresh minced parsley
15-20 chive stems, minced
1/2 t dried oregano (or 1t of fresh minced)
1/2 lemon, cut into rounds
1/4 c Chardonnay or other dry white wine
kosher salt and pepper
12 grape tomatoes
parchment paper

Preheat oven to 400F

Make the compound butter first by combining the softened butter, a few pinches kosher salt and pepper along with the herbs.  Mix well to make the compound butter.  Place butter in the freezer while assembling the papillote.

Cut the parchment paper into large rectangles, about twice the size of the fish.  Make the parchment look like a fat lopsided heart - this will aid in rolling the papillote.

Rinse and dry your fish.  Season fish with kosher salt and pepper on both sides.

Lay 5 asparagus spears down on the parchment paper.  Lay a small handful of leeks on top of the asparagus.  Top the leeks with the fish.  Now take 1/4 of the compound butter (about 1 heaping tablespoon) and place it on top of the fish.  Top the butter with 2-3 lemon rounds and finish with 3 cherry tomatoes on top of the lemons.  Drizzle the fish with 1T white wine.

Fold the papillote, heavily creasing the paper as you go to seal in air and juices.  Place sealed papillotes on a baking sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven, cut the papillote open and slide the entire contents onto a plate.  Drizzle the juices on top of the fish and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts calculated at SparkPeople recipe calculator Amount Per Serving Calories 273.1 Total Fat 13.7 g Saturated Fat 7.7 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g Cholesterol 86.0 mg Sodium 551.1 mg Potassium 643.2 mg Total Carbohydrate 11.8 g Dietary Fiber 2.5 g Sugars 2.5 g Protein 25.2 g


The Mom Chef said...

I have to admit that I can be like the 5 year-old you when it comes to some fish. I need it to be a nice mild white fish, like tilapia to be able to eat it. Both the parmesan garlic and this version look delicious.

Yenta Mary said...

I was going to play yenta and fix you up with Jenn, the queen of all things tilapia; so I'm glad to know you're already BFFs! This looks gorgeous, and is undoubtedly fabulous!!!

Pegasuslegend said...

looks and sounds like a fabulous recipe for sure!

Jenn said...

LOL... Mary's comment cracks me up!! lol

Anyway, I'm so proud of you!! The dish looks AWESOME! And I'm so glad you tried tilapia and liked it... I feel like my work here is done! :)

momto8 said...

oh yum..and ALL my kids like this recipe definitely works!! the flavors.
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

Words Of Deliciousness said...

Yum, I love fish. This recipe looks absolutely delicious. I am glad you were brave enough to try eating some fish.

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

I have been dying to make something 'en papillote' for years - the idea is so quaint and French and just sexy to me. So glad you gave Tilapia a go. This sounds (and looks) delicious!

Pam said...

What a healthy and delicious meal! It looks wonderful.

Pam said...

It sounds really good to me and Jenn is the best! I used to be the same way about fish... Good recipe!

Sarah said...

It looks delicious! Good for you! I love fish and also just did a bunch of en papillote cooking a couple of weeks ago (not on my blog yet).

Ann Minard said...

That looks yummy and I am so glad you like fish now! I love all fish and seafood, try and squeeze some fresh lemon juice on just before eating next time like the Neapolitan do!

Martha said...

This looks wonderful! Tilapia is my fish of choice too :)

Pegasuslegend said...

WE eat fish or try too, three times a week.. love fried but not the best in health.. this looks fantastic! I love the herbs and freshness!

Raina said...

You made laugh with your story; I am the same way. My family loves fish but I never make it because I don't like it. I have always wanted to try to make something like this for them. You have given me inspiration to try it. It looks wonderful:)

Cranberry Morning said...

Well, Andrea, I'll have to say that although I have never ever purchased talapia (no kidding), you and Jenn may make me change my mind. That photos are gorgeous!

And your mention of '3-bean hotdish' brought back memories of Sunday School picnics where our red jello would melt into our 3-bean hotdish and make a pool of liquid jello with hamburger in it. Eww. :-)

anthony stemke said...

We like tilapia a lot but I am shy to buy parchment because of price. I usually out it in a cast iron skillet and season with salt pepper and herbs and broil it ten minutes.
Except for the asparagus,which I could substitute, I would love this dish

Velva said...

You are doing better than me.. I still struggle to eat fish. Tilapia is a flaky , light white fish so its perfect to break us non-fish eaters right on in- You did an awesome job preparing this fish.


Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

Oh this looks and sounds sooooooo good! it's great to find a good fish recipe. Just signed up to follow you :)
Mary x

Addy said...

The use of Tilapia fish make this cooking dish very testy and give a very wonderful look. It is really amazing.. iPhone 5 Designs

Monika Borua said...

Very nice and informative blog posting. Among all the fish, tilapia fish is Awesome! Tilapia fish farming is very profitable and easy. I like this fish very much for it's unique taste and nutritional value.

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