Monday, November 9, 2009

And the Envelope Please....

Tilapia and Potatoes
En Papillote

I love getting mail the old fashioned way—in envelopes. Our predilection for email and other online forms of communication has left “snail mail” by the wayside.

I’m as guilty as anyone; I rarely send letters through the mail anymore, though I used to have pen pals all over the world.

Nowadays, I mostly receive bills and advertisements, but once in a while I get an envelope, hand addressed to me. It’s usually from my mom, but what she sends is always a sweet surprise—photos from recent visits (real photos on paper!), a clipped article (with titles like “Storing Your Wedding Dress” or “Easy Crafts for Kids”), a fun recipe or just bits of news about her garden or latest house remodeling project.

Maybe that’s what makes opening an envelope so divine—the mystery of what awaits inside never grows old. For a recent dinner I decided to stuff some envelopes and surprise my family. Not with letters or photos, but with dinner—fish and potatoes. Tilapia and a mix of potatoes and sweet potatoes en papillote.

Ah, a good ol’ fashioned family meal! I hope that never goes by the wayside.

Tilapia En Papillote

1 fillet of tilapia, or other fish
Juice of ½ lemon
Some fresh or dried herbs
Olive oil
4 tbsp dry white wine
1 clove garlic

(serves 2)
Lay fish on a large square of parchment paper. Squeeze lemon juice over the fillet, add oil and wine, season with salt, pepper and fresh herbs (I used thyme, oregano and parsley), and clove of garlic cut in half. Wrap parchment paper so that no steam can escape. Bake or grill at 350 for about 15 minutes, until tilapia is cooked through. Thicker fish may take a bit longer.
Open paper and serve on a plate. Enjoy!

Potato Medley En Papillote

2 sweet potatoes
3 regular yellow potatoes
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, left whole
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp crushed sage
1 tsp rosemary
¼ to ½ tsp cayenne powder (or to taste)

(serves 4-6)
Peel and thinly slice potatoes (about 1/8 inch by 1 inch pieces). Place on a large sheet of parchment. Add other ingredients and lightly toss. Feel free to adjust seasonings to taste. Cover with another large piece of parchment and fold under until sealed. Place on grill or in 350 degree oven and cook for about 30 until potatoes are tender and pieces along edge of paper are just beginning to brown. Try not to check too often—trust you nose and gut!
Take out of paper and serve garnished with fresh parsley.

1 comment:

Fran said...

I love the photos of the food in this recipe--colorful and appetizing for sure !
(And the envelope please....")
The story about writing regular mail is a very creative introduction to your recipe.

Finding an outlet for your creative spirit is so rewarding. Having a healthy, attractive meal to serve friends or family ...a tangible 'product' ....seems to be what satisfies the soul.
I know that making things that others enjoy, whether food or fabric items, feeds my soul !

Good luck with this project. It is lovely.