This meal is the classic marriage of British and French Cuisine. Well, not really, but Dover is in Great Britain, and En Papillote is French, so kind of. As Julia would tell you, cooking “en papillote” is a method of baking your food within a parchment paper – the sealed parchment paper creates a mini-contained oven in which the flavors blend and infuse your fish (or poultry or pork) and the porous-ness of the parchment paper allows the steam to escape, so you’re baking, rather than steaming.
I didn’t have any parchment paper, so I thought about using wax paper – but a quick Google search on the internet confirmed what Brian had cautioned me of – the heat of the oven will melt the wax, causing it to burn on your pan and fill your oven, and kitchen, with nasty smoke.
So what’s a person to do, short of running to the store to buy true parchment paper? Substitute aluminum foil. You will in essence be steaming your meal, but it’s still tasty as can be.
This recipe is for 4 servings – it can be adjusted easily to accommodate more or less.
1 – 1 ¼ pounds Dover Sole filets (if you have 4 filets total, cut the filets in half – but my Trader Joe’s frozen filets were smallish, and only one had to be cut in half)
½ pound fresh Mushrooms, sliced
3 – 4 Italian Squash, sliced (I used 1 green Italian (zucchini) and 2 yellow Italian – but really, any squash will do).
6 cloves Garlic, sliced.
Thai Yellow Curry Sauce from Trader Joe’s (or any other flavoring sauce you prefer).
Lemon or Lime juice, preferably fresh squeeze.
Chinese Noodles – or any thin, delicate noodle of your choice.
Boil and drain your noodles, according to package directions. Set aside.
Cut 4 large sheets of aluminum foil – approximately 18x18 inches. Lay them out on your counter.
Place a serving of noodles just slightly off center – just a bit to one side – on each piece of foil.
Arrange slices of squash and mushrooms on top of the noodles. Lightly salt and pepper.
Lay two small filets, side by side, on top of the vegetables. Top with slices of garlic, drizzle a bit of oil over the filets (or small pats of butter), salt and pepper, squeeze of lime juice, then pour a splash of curry sauce over the filets.
Arrange a second layer of squash and mushroom slices on top of the filets, salt and pepper.
Fold the foil gently over your tower of food, leaving room to tent, and then seal the edges by crimping the foil.
Place the foil packets on a ridged baking pan (to catch any juice that may escape the packets), and put in a preheated oven at 375 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes; remove from the oven.
CAREFULLY open the foil packets – be ware of hot, hot steam that will rise from the opening. Gently slide the contents to individual plates or shallow bowls, keeping the layers intact. Enjoy immediately.
We rounded out this meal with a simple salad, a baguette from Champagne, and delicious Tart Lemon Pie – with crusts that I actually pressed to the sides of the pans so they didn’t collapse like they did in my blog post – AND, I halved again the lemon-filling amount, so the pies were deeper than the first go-round. This meal was oh-so-delicious – and Jared didn’t get sick from any food faux pas.