Sustainable Fish en Papier with Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, New Potatoes, and Meyer Lemons
This recipe utilizes a classic French technique of en papier, or en papillote, in which food is wrapped and baked in parchment paper. Don’t be intimidated by the name: this method of preparing fish is practically foolproof.
If you’ve never shopped for sustainable fish before, Jonathon Sawyer recommends finding a reputable fishmonger in your area and using their guidance. Chef Sawyer himself favors sable fish, farmed sturgeon, or porgy. If those are unavailable, use the freshest flaky fish that you can get your hands on.
- 1/2 gallon of water
- 2 tablespoons sea salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 bottle Chablis, or any other white Burgundy or Chardonnay
- 4 ounces Hen of the Woods or any other wild mushrooms, poached and sliced
- 6 new potatoes, fingerlings or butterball, peeled, poached, and sliced
- Extra virgin olive oil as needed
- 10 ounces farm-raised sturgeon (sustainably harvested, skinless, portioned into two roughly 2 x 4 x 1⁄2 inch rectangles)
- 1 tablespoon lemon thyme, picked
- 4 tablespoons cultured butter
- 2 Meyer lemons, sliced crosswise
- 1 teaspoon Tavern Vinegar, or any white wine or Chardonnay vinegar
Poach the mushrooms: in a pot over medium heat, combine the water, sea salt, and 1/4 bottle of Chablis. (You will have leftover wine.) Bring the pot to a low simmer and add the mushrooms, and simmer until cooked, approximately 12 minutes. Remove from the pot and reserve the cooking liquid. Let the mushrooms cool in the refrigerator. Once cool, slice them into 1-inch-thick pieces.
Poach the potatoes: in the same pot at the same temperature, poach the new potatoes until they are cooked through, approximately 17 minutes. Remove from the pot and reserve the cooking liquid. Let cool in the refrigerator, then slice into 1-inch-thick pieces.
Let your cooking liquid cool for about 20 minutes.
Assemble the en papier: preheat the oven to 350ºF. Season mushrooms, potatoes, and fish with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Place a couple of slices of potato on the square of parchment paper, followed by a few slices of wild mushrooms, a 4-ounce filet of seasoned fish, 2 slices of Meyer lemon, a pat of butter, 1 tablespoon of Chablis, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, and 2 ounces of the cooled-down cooking liquid. Fold the edges of the parchment square over themselves to seal the package. Repeat with a second piece of parchment paper.
Bake the packages until just cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. The broth should be visible, bubbling from the bottom of the package just under the potatoes. Remove from the oven. Let the packages rest for a couple minutes before opening.
Carefully open the packages, being sure to not stand too close; hot steam will escape from the packages when you open them. Season the dish with extra virgin olive oil and fresh thyme.