Monday, April 11, 2011

Halibut in Cartoccio

We get the inspiration for the recipes we prepare at Cooking D’Lites from so many places.  Today’s featured recipe was inspired by watching Anne Burrell’s TV show, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, on the Food Network.

I was transfixed watching Anne prepare this dish as I had never seen, let alone heard of, this type of cooking.  Where have I been all my life?  Anyway, the fish, and you can use any type of firm fish in this recipe, is cooked in a paper pouch called a Cartoccio.  With the addition of some veggies, some wine, and a little seasoning, the fish essentially cooks in its own juices.

The result is a clean, fresh tasting fish with so many levels of flavor that you will need to take a little time between each bite just to enjoy what is going on with your taste buds.

From our kitchen to yours.  Enjoy the adventure.


Halibut in Cartoccio
2 medium Zucchini, seeds removed, julienned
(Slice the Zucchini in half and use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds)

1 small Yellow Squash, prepared the same as the Zucchini

3 – 4 Brussels sprouts, leaves pulled apart

1 large Leek, julienned

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 tsp Kosher Salt

½ tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground

2 cloves Garlic, minced

4 Halibut fillets, 6 oz each

4 slices Lemon

2 cups White Wine, dry not sweet

4 pieces Parchment Paper


Fold 4 (9 x 13 inch) pieces of Parchment paper in half.  Starting at the fold cut each piece into a half circle.  When unfolded each of these will become full circles.  They need not be perfect. We’re not grading for neatness.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 500°F.

In a bowl, combine the Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Brussels sprout leaves, Leek and minced Garlic.  Season with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper, and toss to coat. 

Brush each Parchment circle with a little Olive Oil, leaving a 1 inch border un-oiled. Place about ¼ of the veggies near the fold in the center of each piece of paper.

Place 1 piece of Halibut on top of the Veggies, and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Place 1 Lemon Slice on top of each fish fillet.

Here’s the tough part; Crimp and fold from 1 folded corner of each “pouch” toward the other folded corner.  Fold the bottom piece slightly over the top to seal in any moisture. The closure needs to be very secure so that the steam won’t escape during the cooking process. 

Before the packets are completely sealed, pour ½ cup of White Wine in each, then seal.  Anne did a great job, and it made it look so easy.

OK, so it’s Truth Time.  As I was pouring the wine in one side of each pouch, it was leaking out the other end.  Judy suggested that I reseal my packets in a second skin of aluminum foil.  So, I double sealed each pouch.  Brilliant!!!

Place the pouches on a baking dish set on a rack in the center of the oven. Cook for about 9 – 10 minutes.

Serve the un-opened pouches, 1 per serving, to your guests for them to open.  They will enjoy the fragrant burst of steam emanating from the pouches as they are unsealed.

We served ½ cup of Brown Rice as a side dish.  The rice adds a PointsPlus value of 3 per serving.

Yields 4 servings.  PointsPlus value per serving, excluding Rice is 8.  Prep time is 25 – 40 minutes, depending on your stress level when sealing the pouches.  Cooking time is 9 – 10 minutes.  Level of difficulty is Easy to Moderate. Again, it’s the sealing thing.

Weight Watchers and PointsPlus are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers Intl. Inc.

Recipes shown may not be exactly the same as those found on any website. Judy and I tend to "tweak" each recipe we feature, to some degree, incorporating our own unique tastes and ideas. PointsPlus values, however, are accurate. 

Photo by Barry Baruh

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