Foil Packet White Fish with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
Foil packet cooking is the perfect cooking technique for hot days when you don’t feel like being in the kitchen. You can make the packets and toss them on the grill to enjoy a light and healthy meal without a lot of fuss. Even better, clean–up is as easy as tossing the packets into the trash when you are done.
This method isn’t limited to warm weather, of course. You can prepare delicious foil packet meals in your oven year–round. This recipe uses “white fish” fillets, so it’s perfect for halibut, cod, grouper, or whatever type of firm, white fish is available in your area. This technique can be used with other types of fish, lean protein, and veggie combinations, as well.
Note: This recipe calls for oven-roasted tomatoes. Oven drying is a great way to use up excess tomatoes from your garden or the farmers’ market. In addition, the process of drying them concentrates their flavor by removing excess moisture. The result is a really sweet, delicious burst of flavor in each bite.
Oven-Roasted Tomato Directions: (Use however many excess tomatoes you have available).
Place top oven rack in the centre position and pre-heat oven to 200°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat and set aside.
Slice tomatoes into 2” thick slices and place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the slices and sprinkle with salt and black pepper, to taste. Top with fresh thyme leaves, if desired, and place in the pre-heated oven for approximately 2 hours or until the tomatoes are nicely browned around the edges.
Remove from oven and use immediately or store in an airtight container covered with olive oil. Store unused tomatoes in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
NOTE: You can use fresh or preserved lemons to make this recipe. Preserved lemons are recommended because they add a lot more flavor. You can either buy a container of preserved lemons or make your own. A word of caution, however, if you use preserved lemons, don’t add additional salt to the fillets without tasting.
Prep time: 5 minutes (+ 10 minutes for oven-roasted tomatoes)
Cook time: 10 minutes (+ 2 hours for oven-roasted tomatoes)
* Add a couple minutes to cook time if starting with frozen fillets.
4 6-oz. white fish fillets
4 oven-dried tomato slices (instructions above)
4 fresh or preserved lemon slices, cut in half
2 T. fresh thyme
4 T. unsalted butter
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
To prepare indoors, place top oven rack in the centre position and pre–heat oven to 400°F. Tear off 4 sheets of aluminium foil into sections large enough to fold over fillets, with another couple of inches on each side to seal.
Place one fillet slightly off centre on each sheet of foil. Top each fillet with an oven-dried tomato slice, two fresh or preserved halved lemon slices, as shown, one-half tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, and one tablespoon unsalted butter. If desired, lightly season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
To seal packet, fold aluminium foil in half over the fillets. Fold the 3 open sides, one at a time, over several times to seal the packet completely. The goal is to seal the packet tight enough to hold in the steam, but still allow enough room for the air to expand.
Place the foil packets in the pre–heated oven for 10 minutes, or place on hot grill over medium, direct heat for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven (or grill) and cool slightly before carefully opening the foil packets. (Use caution, escaping steam will be very hot). Discard the lemon slices and serve immediately with your choice of sides. Enjoy!
Click on images shown below to see details.
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