Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Opah Pesto Packets

So, while at Whole Foods the other day, I spied a fish I had never tried called Opah. It's a fish from Hawaii, that is also called moonfish. It's got a pink flesh that is firm and sweet. I bought 2 big fillets and decided to use a cooking technique with them called "en papillote" which means "in parchment" in French. Basically it means to cook something wrapped in parchment paper.

By doing this, you benefit in a few ways: 1) you make an individual serving, so it's good for portion control 2) cooking in parchment most usually leads to a real tender and moist final product, 3) clean up is a breeze.
Here I've taken the Opah fillets and coated with the Garlic Scape and Herb Pesto I made (recipe here: Pesto). I placed the fillet on a bed of spinach, red onion slices and arugula and topped it with some lemon slices (spinach and arugula from Stillman's Farm).

After you load up your parchment, you need to close it up tight to ensure that any steam that forms inside during cooking can't escape. There are a couple of ways to do this. I use a technique where I bring the edges together and make small folds, over one another while pressing down on the edges.

To cook these packets, I actually used our grill. It was a hot day and I didn't want to turn on the oven. I turned on half the grill, left the packets on a baking sheet and placed it upon the unlit side of the grill. I maintained the heat around 400 degrees. I cooked the fish for about 15 - 18 minutes. A good rule of thumb is about 10 minutes per inch of fish cooking time. The Opah fillets were pretty thick, so I let them go closer to 20 minutes.

The result was a firm and deliciously tender fish, over the wilted greens and onions, flavored with all of the herbs in the pesto. Delish!!

I would recommend trying out Opah if you have the chance as well as trying out the "en papillote" method. You can use it with any protein/veggie/flavor combo  - the possibilities are really endless.

No comments: