The Easy Way to Cook Fish Perfectly Every Time

Romulo Yanes

by Bon Appétit

Cooking in parchment packets, or en papillote, yields big rewards without much effort. Just throw a few ingredients into the parcels (you can prepare most ahead of time), then let them do the work--they lock in flavor and moisture and are impressive looking, to boot. Test Kitchen Director Mary-Frances Heck broke the process down into four easy steps below.

Related: 14 Delicious Salmon Recipes

Zach DeSart

1. Fold a 14x12" piece of parchment paper in half. (The technique also works for grilling; just substitute aluminum foil.) Using kitchen shears, cut the parchment into a heart shape.










Zach DeSart

2. Arrange vegetables and herbs on one side of the paper. Top with fish. Add olive oil or butter and a splash of wine and/or broth to keep the fish moist and create a sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the edges of the paper with beaten egg white for a tighter seal, if desired.







Zach DeSart

3. Working from one end, begin tightly folding the open edge of the paper.














Zach DeSart

4. Continue folding the paper's open edge to form a seal. Transfer the packet to a rimmed baking sheet and bake. (If using foil, place directly on the grill.)

See also: 26 Healthy and Effortless Fish Dinners







Fish Fillets with Tomatoes, Squash, and Basil

You can use any white flaky fish in this versatile-and quick-dish.

Ingredients
2 cups very thinly sliced assorted summer squash (such as zucchini, yellow crookneck, and pattypan)
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided, plus 1/4 cup basil leaves
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 tablespoons dry white wine
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 6-ounce skinless white flaky fish fillets (such as Atlantic cod or halibut)

Preparation
Place four 14x12" sheets of parchment paper, or heavy-duty foil if grilling, on a work surface. Divide squash among parchment sheets, arranging on one side of sheet in thin layers. Sprinkle shallots and sliced basil over, dividing equally.

Scatter tomato halves around squash. Drizzle each packet with 1 Tbsp. wine and 1/2 Tbsp. oil (add 1/2 Tbsp. water to each if grilling). Season with salt and pepper. Place a fish fillet atop each portion. Season with salt and pepper; drizzle 1/2 Tbsp. oil over each.

Fold parchment over mixture and crimp edges tightly to form a sealed packet. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Chill. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before continuing.

Preheat oven to 400°. Place packets in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Alternatively, build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Bake or grill fish until just cooked through (a toothpick poked through the parchment will slide through fish easily), about 10 minutes. Carefully cut open packets (steam will escape). Garnish with basil leaves.

More from Bon Appétit:
10 Snacks You Thought Were Healthy But Really Aren't
10 Quick and Easy School-Night Dinners
25 One-Bite Appetizers
Junk Food Makeover: Healthier Chicken Nuggets