Recipe: Flounder for One

Jake was away this weekend so Silka was left to fend for herself, food-wise. It seemed like a good time for a mini-detox, what with Thanksgiving barely passed, Christmas lurking, and our pork belly heavy weekends in between. On Saturday she headed to the market for inspiration, looking for something light, refreshing, and super easy. There'd definitely be a salad from Windfall, and she'd been craving beets again so she stopped by Migorellis. But choosing a protein was more difficult. Since Jake generally takes care of cooking the meat, so it's always a little nerve racking for her. Luckily, Saturday is a great day for fish at the market. But while we have a conflicted relationship with fish, Silka felt good about buying the pole-caught Long Island Flounder.

The meal was exactly what she was looking for. The beets and micro-green salad were super flavorful and added great color and texture. And the fish was cooked perfectly and mess free in parchment with a few onions and garlic - not the most flavorful preparation, but exactly what she wanted.

Fish Fillet in Parchment

+ Olive oil
+ 2 or 3 smallish new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
+ Salt and freshly ground pepper
+ 6-ounce fillet of flounder, halibut, tilapia, salmon, or red snapper, or more if you want leftovers
+ About 1/3 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips
+ 1/2 medium carrot, peeled and cut into very thin strips
+ 1 scallion, white and tender green, cut into lengthwise strips
+ 3 slices fresh ginger approximately the size of 25-cent pieces, peeled and cut into julienne strips
+ A splash of white wine
+ A sprinkling of fresh herbs, if available (such as parsley, chives, tarragon, or summer savory)

Note: I threw in some onions and garlic in place of the vegies just because that's what I had on hand. I'm sure the dish would have been more flavorful if it had been prepared with the right ingredients. 

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Oil lightly the center of a baking sheet. Scatter the potato slices over the oiled area, then turn them. Salt and pepper lightly. Roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, turning once.
2. Meanwhile, cut off an 18-inch piece of parchment paper, and fold it in half. Open it up, and on one half place the fish alongside the folded edge, after salting and peppering it on both sides. Pile the zucchini, carrot, scallion, and ginger on top of the fish, salt again lightly, and splash on enough wine to bathe the fillet lightly. 
3. After the potato slices have had their 10-minute pre-roasting, arrange them on top or around the edge of the fish and sprinkle the herbs over all. 
4. Fold the other half of the parchment over, then fold in the open edge twice, and pleat it all around to make a semicircular airtight package. (If it tends to open up where the folded edges meet, secure that place with a binder clip or a large paper clip.)
5. Place on the sheet pan, and bake for 12 minutes. If you have a fairly thick fillet, you may need to bake it 1 or 2 minutes more. Test with a skewer; if it goes in easily, the fish is done. Plunk the whole parchment package on a big dinner plate, and enjoy. 

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