Friday, February 17, 2017

Paper Trout

Although I'm not a vegetarian anymore,
I still don't eat beef, pork or poultry.
It was always a struggle for my mom 
to get me to eat meat when I was a kid.
The last time I remember eating steak (not ordered by me),
I covered it in ketchup
and my mom finally decided to give up on the idea of me being a carnivore.
It has just never felt right for me
so I embraced a meat-free diet for a good, long time.
For the last 15 years or so, I have eaten fish regularly,
and feel fortunate to be able to find a good selection at our local grocery store.

As we are trying to eat as locally as possible,
this North Carolina trout seemed to fit the bill.
I bought the whole fish so that I could keep the bones
to make my homemade bone broth.
(I'll tell you about this magical elixur soon.)

Cooking the whole fish is not something I've done before,
but I remembered a trick my mom had used.
Parchment paper is the secret ingredient.

The technique is known as "en papillote"
or "in paper", 
and it's one of the easiest ways to cook fish.
The bonus is that clean up is a breeze!

The fish was rinsed, dried and seasoned with salt, pepper and a little olive oil.
Any choice of your favorite seasonings would work.
They were wrapped in the parchment and the ends were twisted tight.
This helps the fish to steam and keeps all of the juices inside.

They were placed on the same baking sheet as some veggies 
I was cooking for a soup base.
After about 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven, 
they were done.

Open the package carefully, as it is extremely hot!
The fish comes out moist, tender and delicious.
The bones are easily removed 
and can be added to my stockpile in the freezer.

The same technique can be used with chicken, turkey 
or cooked beans for a vegetarian option.
I haven't tried it, 
but I imagine this would work on the grill too.

Each package is like a small gift for each diner to open.
Who wouldn't enjoy a tasty token? 

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