A New Year’s Resolution Kept Alive

By Martin Musialczyk

As we have recently left 2016 behind along with some of our recent bad habits related to food, many of us may still be holding onto our newly formed, yet just old enough to not have been ditched, New Year’s Resolution Diet. For the few of you that may still be going strong with your devotion to upholding this yearly tradition that will likely be tossed into the garbage at the end of the month, I’m here to give you a recipe that is not only amazingly delicious, it is great on the pocket book for the student-minded budget as well as extremely time efficient in preparation.

(Step 1) At Central Market for the next couple of weeks, fresh Alaskan cod is on sale for about $7 per pound. That is absolutely incredible knowing some restaurants in Seattle will charge you about $40 for this exact style of dish but will add roasted potatoes on the side to make it look ‘uge (pronounced huge, making sure that while saying it, you pout your lips out as if you’re about to regurgitate a dinner plate).

(Step 2) Cut out a size of parchment paper about four times as big as your fish filet. After you fold your paper in half widthwise like a book, you’re going to place your fish on one half of the paper laying lengthwise relative to the fold. I like to place the parchment paper and the fish on a dinner plate so that you can control some of the liquid ingredients you will be adding in the following steps from spilling out onto your counter.

(Step 3) Now that you have your fish neatly placed on one half of the parchment paper, sprinkle some coarse non-iodized salt or sea salt on top of the fish along with ground sweet paprika, a little bit of granulated garlic and freshly ground black pepper. Next, add a couple sprigs of fresh dill right on top of the fish.

(Step 4) Drizzle some olive oil or whatever cooking oil you have in your kitchen as well as some dry white wine. In the case that you don’t have white wine, I have used some non-alcoholic ginger beer with great results. You can also use hard cider if you have some. Finally, just drizzle a little bit of fresh lemon just across the top of your fish.

With all your ingredients assembled, fold over the parchment paper half that doesn’t have the fish on it. You may need to gently move over the fish so that the corners of the parchment paper match up well.

(Step 5) Starting at one of the corners that is touching the fold, begin to fold over the paper inch by inch in the same direction as the previous fold. Don’t worry if you have some thick areas and some thin areas, but make sure you’re leaving at least half an inch of space between the fish and your fold. And when you fold it inch by inch or so, follow the edge of the fish.

When you get all the way around to the other corner touching the fold, you will twist that corner a couple times around and fold the excess underneath the pouch. It should look a little bit like a half moon.

(Step 6) Place on a sheet pan in an oven preheated to 430 degrees on the middle rack for about 15 to 17 minutes. If you folded the parchment paper correctly, when you open the oven, the pouch should look inflated. If it’s not, don’t worry, it’s still fine. Just be a little bit more meticulous next time on the folds.

(Step 7) Place the pouch on your dinner plate and with a pair of scissors, cut open your pouch to expose the contents. Traditionally you eat the fish straight out of the pouch. Just take the dill out and discard it. You can serve it with some thick cut, lightly broiled artisan bread to sop up some of that lovely natural fish just that rendered out of the fish during the steaming process. Enjoy.

Method:

1. One pound of a low-fat, flaky white-fleshed fish (i.e cod, halibut, rockfish, trout, walleye)
2. Place on one half of a folded parchment piece of paper.
3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and granulated garlic.
4. Top with two sprigs of fresh dill, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of a dry white wine, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (1 teaspoon).
5. Fold and seal the parchment paper by folding over the paper an inch or two at a time.
6. Place on a sheet pan in an oven preheated to 430 degrees on the middle rack for 15-17 minutes.
7. Carefully cut open and enjoy.

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