En papillote — also known as cooking “in a packet” — is a fuss-free and flavorful way to cook seafood. Continue reading to learn more about the technique sophisticated enough to be used in fancy restaurants but simple enough to work at home, too.
In traditional French “en papillote” cooking, food is sealed in parchment paper packets and then baked. Flavors mingle and intensify as the steam conducts heat and gently cooks what’s inside. Not only is there little to no cleanup, but it also makes for a stunning presentation as the folds of the packet are opened up like a present to reveal an elegant and aromatic result.
But because it’s summer, we’re swapping out the parchment paper for foil (which is easier to seal tightly and also reseal if you snag a quick peek during cooking) and trading in the oven for a grill.
To make the packet, bring the long sides of the foil together above the food. Fold it down a couple times, then roll in the open ends to form a well-sealed pouch. Be sure to leave room between the food and the foil for steam to develop.
And don’t be afraid to throw veggies, citrus, spices, and herbs in there with the seafood to amp up the color and infuse even more flavor.
These three simple en papillote fish dishes are the perfect stress-free solution for date night, family night, or even entertaining a crowd. Just sit back and let the steam work its magic.
Flaky and mild-flavored cod gets a major upgrade when trapped in a pouch with a drizzle of olive oil, a clove of garlic, a few lemon rounds, and some dill.
On one side of your grill is the salmon cooking inside a foil packet with lemon and chives. On the other side? Asparagus. Talk about multitasking made easy.
In this recipe, delicate sole gets the steam treatment alongside mushrooms, lemon rounds, and green beans.
On a papillote kick? Try it out with chicken, sausage, or even potatoes.
For more grilling tips, tricks, and hacks, check out our guide on how to grill (almost) everything.