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Baked Fish and Seafood Parcels

25 July 2014 / 08:07:12  GRReporter
3744 reads

Danielle Lachana

(Serves 4)


Inspired by the products of the Mediterranean sea, we leave the Greek islands and sail onwards to Italy.

Today's recipe is inspired by a fish that was caught, and kindly given to me, by one of my friends - a 3 kilo dusky grouper! It was caught in Greek waters and is known here as 'rofos'. Grouper is also very popular in Italy where it is called 'cernia' and its firm flesh is ideal for this recipe.

* Don't worry if you cannot find grouper, this is equally good with sea bass, sea bream, red snapper or even cod, cut into slices about 1½  cm thick.

 The method of cooking, in Italian 'al cartoccio' (meaning in a bag), perhaps better known to us by the French term 'en papillote', keeps the fish moist and retains all the juices, which also come from the shellfish. In addition it provides an interesting method of presentation on the plate.







If the clams are live sea clams they will probably contain sand. To purge the clams rinse well under running tap water (easier to do if you put them in a colander) then transfer  them to a bowl and completely cover with cool water. Put in the fridge for about one hour then rinse the clams again, clean the bowl and put the clams back with fresh water to cover them in the bowl. Repeat until no more sand appears.

Coat the slices of fish in the flour, salt and pepper and cook in a non-stick, or very lightly oiled, frying pan, for 2 - 3 minutes on each side to brown lightly.

Add the onions, garlic, white wine and parsley and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Cut 4 pieces of the baking parchment and 4 of the foil into approximately 40 cm squares. You can just use baking parchment but depending on its quality sometimes an outer layer of aluminium foil helps to strengthen the parcel. It is best to avoid using just foil as a parcel when acidic elements such as the tomatoes are used.

Put one slice of fish in the centre of each and pour the pan contents over each piece. Divide the seafood and tomatoes evenly between the sheets then fold in the edges to form a parcel. Make sure the parcels are not too tight so there is enough room inside for the air to circulate - but the edges should be tightly folded over to seal to prevent the juices escaping.

Put the parcels on a baking sheet in a pre-heated moderately hot oven at 160o C (325o F, Gas Mark 3)  and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until all the fish and seafood is cooked through.

Serve in the paper parcel!

Note:  If any of the clams or mussels have not opened after the full cooking time. discard them.

Nice served with a salad of mixed greens including rocket.

Buon appetito! Enjoy your meal!

Tags: Cartoccio Grouper Fish Seafood Mediterranean recipes Italian Clams Prawns Shellfish
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