MARK DeWOLF: Cooking Seafood en papillote


Summer is time for seafood in Atlantic Canada, but it’s also the time for barbecuing. A simple way to embrace both our love of seafood and outdoor cooking is to cook your seafood on the grill using the principles of ‘en papillote’ or ‘enveloped in paper.’ This method of both baking and steaming typically uses fish or vegetables, but can also include poultry and other meat. It’s a great way to capture freshness and deliver moist, succulent seafood to your guests. When cooking inside, parchment paper does the job, but if you want to bring the aggressive heat of a barbecue to your seafood, I suggest using foil or foil in combination with parchment paper.  

For a bonus, this method can be fairly healthy as you can limit the amount of butter and oil because the natural moisture of the fish will often be enough to keep the fish from sticking. That being said, when it comes to cooking shellfish such as clams and mussels using this method, I tend to add butter, letting the process of cooking en papillote create it’s own sauce. 

Salmon en papillote 

6 Servings 

  • 6 12-inch by 12-inch pieces aluminum foil 
  • 6 10-inch by 10-inch pieces parchment paper 
  • Olive oil 
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced  
  • 6 salmon fillets, skins removed  
  • Salt and pepper  
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced  
  • 1 small bunch dill, roughly chopped 
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, halved, seeded and then halved again  

Directions:  

Preheat barbecue over medium-high heat (ideally registering at 400 F). Lay out sheets of foil. Top with parchment. Drizzle olive oil over the parchment. Place a layer of red onion in middle of parchment, roughly in shaped of a salmon fillet. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Place on layer of onion. 

Top each salmon with slices of lemon and equal amounts of dill. Finally, add tomatoes (2 per salmon fillet). Fold in the sides of the foil square to seal. Fold over the remaining two sides and roll down, then pull up a little to create a tent where the steam can circulate. Place on barbeque.  

Let roast for 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully, remove barbecue and allow to rest for 3 minutes.  Carefully remove papillote from foil and set on plates to serve. Alternative transfer salmon fillets to a serving platter. 

Steaming cod wrapped in parchment paper and then foil keeps the fish moist and flavourful. - Contributed
Steaming cod wrapped in parchment paper and then foil keeps the fish moist and flavourful. – Contributed

 

Cod en papillote 

6 Servings 

  • 6 12-inch by 12-inch pieces aluminum foil 
  • 6 10-inch by 10-inch pieces parchment paper  
  • 1 leek, washed, julienned  
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil 
  • 6 4 to 6-oz cod fillets 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, julienned 
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced 
  • 6 sprigs thyme 

Directions: Preheat barbecue over medium-high heat (ideally registering at 400 F). Layout six 12-inch pieces of aluminum foil. Line each with 10-inch pieces of parchment paper. Add leek to a bowl and toss with garlic and olive oil. Add equal amounts of leek to center of each parchment.  

Season cod with salt and pepper, and place on top of leek. Top cod with carrots, lemons slices and sprig of thyme. Fold in the sides of the foil square to seal. Fold over the remaining two sides and roll down, then pull up a little to create a tent where the steam can circulate. Place on barbeque.  

Let roast for 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully, remove from barbecue and allow to rest for 3 minutes.  Carefully remove papillote from foil and set on plates to serve.  

Steaming clams by wrapping them in foil is based on the classic French tradition of cooking seafood en papillote (wrapped in paper). - Contributed
Steaming clams by wrapping them in foil is based on the classic French tradition of cooking seafood en papillote (wrapped in paper). – Contributed

 

Clams on the Q 

6 Servings 

  • 3 lbs clams, scrubbed 
  • ¼ cup butter, cubed 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely minced 
  • ¼ cup cilantro, minced 
  • 2 limes, sliced 
  • 2 tbsp white wine 

Directions: Preheat barbecue to medium high heat. Layout two large pieces of aluminum foil (approximately 18 inches) so they overlap each other in middle.  Add clams, butter, garlic, ginger, cilantro and lime to one piece of foil.  

Fold up the bottom piece of foil to form to form a loose pouch. Just before closing the foil, add the white wine. Fold the other piece of foil over the top. Place on the grill, and close lid.  

It should take about 8 minutes for the clams to steam. Be careful when remove pouch from grill and open carefully. Discard any clams that have not opened. Pour entire contents in the bowl and serve with crusty bread. 

Mussels on the Q 

6 Servings 

  • 3 lbs clams, scrubbed 
  • ¼ cup butter, cubed 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 2 tsp paprika 
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped 
  • 1 lemon, sliced 
  • 2 tbsp white wine 

Directions: Preheat barbecue to medium-high heat. Lay out two large pieces of aluminum foil (approximately 18 inches) so they overlap each other in middle.  Add mussels, butter, garlic, chorizo, parsley and lemon to one piece of foil.  

Fold up the bottom piece of foil to form to form a loose pouch. Just before closing the foil, add the white wine. Fold up the other piece of foil over top.  

Place on the grill, and close lid. It should take about 6 to 8 minutes for the clams to steam. Be careful when removing pouch from grill and open up carefully. Discard any mussels that have not opened. Pour entire contents in the bowl or other serving vessel such as a cast iron pan, and serve with crusty bread. 

According to sommelier Mark DeWolf, Nova Scotia's Tidal Bay is the ideal wine to enjoy with seafood. - contributed
According to sommelier Mark DeWolf, Nova Scotia’s Tidal Bay is the ideal wine to enjoy with seafood. 

 

Catch the Wave: 5 Tidal Bays to Try this Summer 

Conveniently it’s a little easier to catch the Tidal Bay wave this year, as most producers now offer their wine in a single serve can. 

1. Lightfoot & Wolfville Tidal Bay 

2. Domaine de Grand Pré Tidal Bay 

3. Luckett VineyardsTidal Bay  

4. Gaspereau Vineyards Tidal Bay 

5. Avondale Sky Tidal Bay 





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