Red Snapper with Saffron and Orange en Papillote

Red Snapper with Saffron and Orange en Papillote
4 servings

This method of wrapping food in little parchment bundles keeps in moisture and flavour. The paper puffs up in a big ball, trapping in the steam and gently cooking the package. Just cut each packet open after cooking and serve the fish right in the paper for a beautiful presentation. There is much room for playing here, as orange roughy, halibut or salmon can be prepared this way with Asian, Mediterranean or French flavours. I’ve also cooked chicken and even just vegetables this way. But make sure not to overpower the main player with too much competition. Yield is 4 servings.



cup extra virgin olive oil
4 5
oz red snapper, fillets, skin on
coarse salt, and freshly cracked black pepper
cloves garlic, thinly sliced
shallot, thickly sliced
grated zest and juice of of one orange
several threads saffron
leek, white part only, julienned
carrot, julienned
small handful capers
sprigs fresh thyme
sprigs fresh tarragon
splash dry vermouth


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2

Cut four 11-inch (25 cm) squares of parchment paper.

Step 3

Fold each sheet of parchment in half diagonally.

Step 4

Open and drizzle each with
a little of the oil.

Step 5

Place a snapper fillet on each sheet of parchment, next to the fold.

Step 6

with salt and pepper

Step 7

Top each fillet evenly with garlic, shallots, orange zest, saffron, leek, carrot, capers, thyme and tarragon.

Step 8

Drizzle with remaining olive oil, a splash of orange juice and vermouth.

Step 9

Seal the parcels by first folding over the empty half of parchment paper.

Step 10

Starting at one end, twist the edges of the paper to form a tight seal, working along the edge until you have a half-moon shape.

Step 11

Lay the parcels on a baking sheet.

Step 12

Bake for 20 minutes, or until parcels puff.

Step 13

Cut each package open using scissors and carefully pour the contents onto serving plates.

Step 14

Or, to really wow your guests, serve this the traditional way by cutting open the packages on individual plates at the table.

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