When describing a dish, generally the words simple and gourmet are not used in tandem. Last night I realized that these terms can co-exist with cooking. Quick preparation, quick clean up, less than ten ingredients total! The secret… let the freshest of ingredients do the work for you. How does a fresh white fish with an herbaceous, citrus, and white wine broth sound? The recipe I created below stemmed from a few inspirations I have encountered in recent weeks. While visiting NYC the other weekend, we visited a quaint, reservation only, eclectic, and gourmet restaurant called The Little Owl. Recommended by a native New Yorker and located in the chic West Village, my husband and I ate like kings and queens for the evening. A sparkling cava rose to start, an almond based salad with tender duck strips, lamb with home-made ricotta risotto, whole white fish with lobster risotto, and a chocolate souffle to end the evening. I can see how this meal may appear to be pure gluttony; however, it was our anniversary dinner. Lets face it, we all can’t afford to eat like that everyday. Similar to how I felt after eating the crab cake portabella sandwich at Corner Bistro, I came home wanting to bring one of these gourmet dishes to your table. Additionally inspired by the French cookbooks I have been reading, I decided to pursue the flavors of the white fish and put my own spin on the recipe. I started by seeking out the freshest white fish I could find. I would recommend a cod or halibut. In French cuisine, fresh ingredients by region are often incorporated into the dish. Considering basil grows like wildfire and tomatoes are the size of small pumpkins in Jersey, I decided to focus on these delicious summer treats. Cooking the fish in sealed parchment paper is a classic French technique that allows the steam to create an intense aroma and keep the fish tender. Do your best to maintain a tight seal so that no steam is released and all of the flavors can blend together. Picture above taken before cooking.Bon Apetit!
Enjoy this dish with a wine like Adelaida Chardonnay. In Wine Spectator‘s most recent issue, they focused on pairing wine with food. Within the article, they mentioned to look for flavor links when deciding on a wine for the meal. For instance, earthy herbs and butter are often associated with Chardonnay. It makes perfect sense that this style wine would go great with a fish that has a buttery component and is cooked with fresh basil. Try to look for one or more links. As a result, these flavors will be heightened while eating and drinking.
Fresh White Cod Wrapped in Parchment with Vegetables and Broth
- Fillet of fresh white fish like cod or halibut
- Parchment paper
- Good quality olive oil
- Sliced Yukon gold potato 1/8″ thick, microwave until softened first
- Fresh basil leaves
- Sliced tomato on the vine
- Sliced fresh garlic
- Lemon slices
- dry white wine
Lay a large piece of parchment on the counter. Layer potato, basil, tomato, garlic, fish, salt & pepper, olive oil, lemons, and 1/4 cup white wine in that order. Wrap fish in parchment with little or no air pockets. Cook in oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Important to pre-cook potatoes.Serve with Chardonnay.