Red mullet ‘en papillote’ with fennel and aromatics

Red mullet ‘en papillote’ with fennel and aromatics

By
From
French Lessons
Serves
4
Prep
20 mins
Cooking time
15 mins
Photographer
Steve Brown

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50ml olive oil
4 shallots, finely sliced
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
1 pinch saffron
salt
4 fennel seeds
6 coriander seeds
2 star anise
8 small whole red mullet or red snapper, cleaned
sea salt
1 lemon, finely sliced
50ml clarified butter
pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the shallots, fennel and saffron and sweat over a low heat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Season well.
  2. In a small frying pan toast the fennel seeds, coriander seeds and star anise for a few minutes until aromatic. Tip into a mortar and use the pestle to crush them roughly.
  3. Cut out 4 rectangles of baking paper, around 21 cm x 30 cm. Spoon some of the shallot-fennel mixture onto each piece and top with 2 red mullet. Sprinkle on the crushed spices, season and arrange a few lemon slices on each fillet.
  4. And now for the origami. Bring the 2 longest sides of the paper to the centre over the fish and fold together neatly a few times. Fold up the two short ends. Flip the parcels over onto a baking tray to make neat parcels, with the folds underneath. Brush with clarified butter and bake for 15 minutes. The bags will puff up and become golden and glazed.
  5. Remove from the oven and carefully lift the parcels onto serving plates. For maximum effect, serve straight away; the bags will start to deflate as soon as they are removed from the oven.
  6. Encourage each diner to make an incision with kitchen scissors down the centre of the paper bags and peel the paper back to reveal the colourful and aromatic surprise within.
Tags:
French
France
European
Justin
North
chef
restaurant
basics
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