We waffled for some time about what to make for the main dish for the Eat Local Challenge. Limited in Connecticut by the choice of cooking fat made the decision all the more difficult, as we are not blessed with an olive growing climate. However, creameries and dairy farms are abundant, and churn the sweetest butter. I love the idea, presentation, and taste of fish en papillote, literally meaning “in parchment”, so easy especially for fish novices like ourselves. Tender goodness wrapped up in its own envelope of flavor and essence of sweet butter, wine, herbs, and the heat of a jalapeño. Simply slice open the top of the parchment after baking, the fish perfectly steamed, for a dramatic and rustic presentation. The rest of the goods we were able to pick up at the farmer’s market; crunchy green beans and creamy smashed potatoes create a nice complex bight in both flavor and texture.
cod en papillote with butter, white wine, jalapeño, and fresh herbs, served over green beans and toasted garlic smashed potatoes…
2 5 oz fillets Atlantic Cod: City Fish Market/Long Island Sound
4 tbs butter: Smyth’s Trinity dairy farm: 27.02 miles
Fresh basil: own garden
4 sprigs fresh thyme: George Hall Farm: 12.03 mi
½ jalapeño (or other spicy pepper): George Hall Farm: 12.03 mi
3-4 tbs white wine (Gentle Shepard): Jerram Winery: 17.21 miles
¼ pound green beans, cut on bias: George Hall Farm: 12.03 mi
Ice water bath
Toasted garlic smashed potatoes:
10-12 fingerling potatoes (or other soft skin potatoes) potatoes: (specialty): GeoRoots Solar Growth Farm: 16.14 mi:
¼-1/2 cup heavy cream: The Farmer’s Cow Milk (6 CT family farms)
2-4 tbs butter: Smyth’s Trinity dairy farm: 27.02 miles
3 cloves garlic: George Hall Farm: 12.03 mi
Recipe (serves two):
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring butter for fish to room temperature. Mix in basil, thyme, and minced jalapeño. Prepare four sheets of parchment paper, each approx 12”x12”. Place one fillet of fish on a piece of parchment paper, salt both sides. Cover top of fillet with ½ butter mixture. Add 1-1 ½ tbs white wine over the top. Cover fish with another piece of parchment paper, and fold in the sides making a secure envelope. Place parchment envelopes on a baking sheet, and place in oven on middle rack. Let cook for 13-15 minutes, until parchment paper is lightly browned and puffed up. Serve over green beans and potatoes.
Fill small pot with water, and heavily salt. Bring to boil. Rinse green beans, and cut on bias. Blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Beans should still be bright green and crunchy. Place in a bowl of ice water to shock and stop the cooking. Serve with fish and potatoes.
Rinse potatoes. Place in a pot of cold water. Bring to boil. Let cook until potatoes are fork tender. While potatoes are cooking, smash 3 large cloves of garlic. Place in 1 tbs of butter, and lightly toast, then form into paste. Remove from pot into a large bowl. Smash potatoes, add butter, cream, garlic, and salt. Serve with fish and green beans.
Eat together, toast to each other, and enjoy!