Fish and Shellfish The Book

4. Fish en Papillote With Tomatoes and Olives p. 302

the recipe

This was less than the sum of it’s parts. A lot of good things went in: a couple nice halibut fillets, tomatoes, olives, red pepper flakes, orange zest, sage, wrapped and baked in parchment. What came out looked pretty, but tasted off. The individual flavors were good, but they didn’t meld particularly well. There was way more zest than I would have liked, and something unexpected and unpleasant in the sage-olive-fish combination. The fish was also a bit underdone, and you can’t put a papillote back together again (I finished in the microwave, but it didn’t help matters much). I think this one was a lot better in theory than it was on the plate. If I were to redo this I might replace the halibut with red snapper, and switch out the sage for thyme or basil. Overall there’s just way too much going on without much balance. There were about as many toppings as there were fish. Restraint might have improved it significantly.


I'm a graduate student in Montreal. I spend most of my time studying drug addiction using brain imaging techniques. I'm also a foodie, exploring the culinary world both in and out of my kitchen.

3 replies on “4. Fish en Papillote With Tomatoes and Olives p. 302”

9 minutes is too short, 18 minutes is too long. 15 minutes seems to work well.

The other person is mistaken. You can open one of the packets (yours) and test it. If its not ready yet, put it back for a minute or so. Basically, you can take the fish out of the oven & place it in the microwave and let it cook on its own for a few minutes (don’t turn on the microwave). This has been a fabulous recipe since I adjusted the timing.

Thanks Bill,
This was the 4th recipe I made from the book, and I think my cooking has come a long way since. I’d be interested to try this early failure again, maybe it was me all along.

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