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Mahi Mahi En Papillote

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'd like to make some Mahi Mahi using this technique. Any suggestions for ingredients and the way the way they should be placed around the fish for best, most flavorful results? I'm looking more for subtle flavors rather than something too powerful.

Shel
post #2 of 14
What overall flavor are you going for? Theme I mean...

Themes that work great for this are:

Classic French
Basque or Spanish
Mediterranean
Thai
Vietnamese
Tuscan
Polynesian/Pacific Rim/Asian
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Gee, I didn't really think about a theme ... I suppose something Mediterranean would be a first choice, and then something that might go well with some steamed or sautéed veggies, like broccoli, summer squash, carrots. Maybe putting squash and carrots in with the fish?

Just so you know, I rarely eat a "full" meal - usually just one dish or item with some veggies at most. That's why this technique interests me.

Shel
post #4 of 14
Well this is an awesome technique. It can also be prepared in the morning and cooked that night. So it makes it convenient. Sounds like it's up your alley.

I would stay away from the cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, etc). Why? Because they have very overpowering flavors. What you are mostly doing is cooking the fish or poultry or pork with aromatics. If you serve broccoli I'd steam it separately and serve on the side...

You ultimately want to put veggies that will cook in about 15-20 minutes or less since most of the fish your gonna cook will be 1" or less. You want them to be al dente by the time you open the package.

So for instance, here would be sample packets for each of these cuisines I mentioned above. You can add or change it as you wish:

Classic French:
Fish or Chicken
Finely julienned - almost to the point of grassy slivers: carrots, celery, leeks, garlic
Bay leaf, thyme, chervil and/or or fine herbes, salt, pepper
Butter
Vermouth

Basque or Spanish:
Potota slivers with skins on
Finely julienned - almost to the point of grassy slivers: onion, roasted peppers, garlic, fresh tomato (maybe an olive or two?)
Fish or chicken or a mixture of meats or game with chorizo
Herbs like saffron, thyme, chives, rosemary
Sherry or rioja
Olive oil

Mediterranean:
Finely julienned - almost to the point of grassy slivers: onion, roasted peppers, garlic, zucchini, eggplant, olives
Fish or chicken
Herbs like thyme, chives, rosemary, oregano and basil
Citrus
Red wine or white wine
Olive Oil

Thai:
Finely julienned - almost to the point of grassy slivers: onion, carrots, mushrooms, snowpeas, chilis
Fish or chicken or pork
Herbs like pounded lemon grass, kefir lime leaves, cilantro, mint, sweet chili paste
Lime, fish sauce
Butter

Vietnamese:
Finely julienned - almost to the point of grassy slivers: onion, green onion, carrots, chilis, garlic, long beans
Fish or chicken or pork and maybe some vietnamese dried sausage
Herbs like thyme, cilantro, mint
Citrus
White wine, fish sauce
Peanut oil

Tuscan: (very close and interchangeable with Mediterranean really)
Finely julienned - almost to the point of grassy slivers: onion, roasted peppers, garlic, tomato, mushroom, olives,
Fish or chicken
Herbs like thyme, chives, rosemary, oregano and basil
Citrus like oranges and lemons
Red wine or white wine
Parmesan
Olive Oil

So that's how I think of doing packages. The veggies and herbs that are used are very finely slivered so that they are more aromatic. If you are talking about cooking courser veggie cuts, then I would do separate packages of just veggies to allow for the different cooking times then go ahead and do your meat packages...

I do a Mediterranean one that is very simple and more Greek:
Fish Chicken or Pork
Julienned: onion, zucchini, tomato, garlic, kalamata olives
Fresh oregano, salt and pepper
Lemon slices
Greek olive oil
post #5 of 14
blanched split finger potatoes, grape tomatoes, blanched baby artichoke hearts, blanched butternut or unblanched summer squash, a pat of butter,
a splash of white wine, a drizzle of evoo, s & P, and fresh basil leaves.
I like to fold them in the square pattern with eggwhite painted on the folds.
the round pattern works just as well, though. Great healthy meal.....
post #6 of 14
Wow why do I always forget about baby artichokes!!!! That would be fabulous in there!!!! WTG stephen!!
post #7 of 14
Something I stole from Bobby Flay:

Brush the fish with anchovy butter. Top with a cherry tomato relish made by crushing mint and parlsey in a morter. Toll in a skillet with halved cherry tomatoes and reduced balsomic.

Seal and bake.

Recently I saw a demonstration where the parchment was brushed with an egg wash before popping in the oven. As the packet expanded the wash cooked and hardened. When the packets come out of the oven they do not collapse. Whole think looked like a giant calzone.

For myself I don't much care, one way or another, which fold to use. But when company is coming I go with the classic heart shape.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Some very interesting ideas here. Thanks to everyone for jumping in.

Just got back from the farmers market and got some lovely fennel, several kinds of tomatoes, and some Myer lemons, amongst other delights. With your suggestions something nice and tasty should result.

Shel
post #9 of 14
It is very festive to serve a package at table side and either tear or slit it open the pull it open for the diner to expose the steaming goodness beneath.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

A Beautiful Failure

I made kind of a mess of the pouch, but although it didn't look well it seemed to work just fine. I used just a few, simple ingredients - lemon garlic olive oil, lemon slices, thin-sliced summer squash, and robed the whole thing in fennel fronds.

When the package was opened I could smell the goodness - very nice! but, unfortunately, the fish was a bit undercooked in spots and not as hot as I'd have liked it to be. Gotta work on the time-temp thing.

However, as imperfect as it was, this dish is a winner, and once I perfect the problem areas it'll be a regular at my house.

Thanks again to everyone.

Shel
post #11 of 14
Glad it turned out great! Your folding will get better and your ingredients sound great! Love fennel and fennel squash and citrus sounds like a combo I need to try!! Thanks for the report!
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
I wasn't too happy with the choice of Meyer lemons. Next time I'll use regular lemons. I used all stalks and leaves from the fennel, none of the bulb. Worked very well tongive a subtle flavor and very good aroma.

Shel
post #13 of 14
Awesome, thanks shel!

Out of curiousity why dint you like the Meyer lemons?
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
I think a somewhat more intense lemon flavow would have been nice. Not that the Meyer was bad, but maybe a regular lemon would have been better. Could have been that I got a weak-flavored lemon, too.

Shel
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