This summer, there’s a new cowboy in town, and he’s leaving tumbleweeds by the ole grill.

A parchment-paper bag, otherwise known as a papillote, which sounds a lot fancier than it actually is, is a simplified alternative way to cooking fish with veggies.

Professionals use parchment paper all the time—not only does it lock in flavor and moisture, but it makes life and clean up in the kitchen that much easier.  Roll, toss, and forget.  And while the summer staple is the grill, the grill requires oiling and cleaning.   Plus, with parchment bags you can present baked fish and veggies in an unexpected way.

How to:

  1. Fold a 14×12 piece of parchment paper in half.  With scissors cut the parchment into a heart shape (as if you were making a homemade Valentine).
  2. Arrange veggies, herbs, and spices on one side of the heart.  Place a piece of fish on top.  Add olive oil, or butter if you prefer, and a splash of white wine.  This keeps the fish moist and creates a sauce.  Salt and pepper.
  3. Fold the paper so that the edges meet.*  From the open end, begin folding the paper around so that you create a seal. All you need is to create a tight seal. How you fold is slightly up to you.
  4. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet (in case of juice run-off) and depending on your chosen piece of fish, bake at appropriate heat.

*If you’re one of those folks—like myself—that can’t ever seem to make anything stick together.  Beat an egg white and brush the edge of the parchment.  This should help it stick when you fold the edges together.

You can serve on a plate as a tasty present for you, or a guest, to unwrap.

-Arianna Schioldager

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