I recently purchased the illustrious Ina Garten’s latest cookbook, Make It Ahead. While Ina’s recipes are fabulous, some can be a bit of a struggle for those of us who aren’t as ludicrously wealthy as the Gartens. Nonetheless, her recipes still taste fantastic when adapted to stay within a normal person’s budget. I use Regular Olive Oil (as opposed to Good Olive Oil) and store-bought items – despite the fact that Ina clearly finds them inferior – and the recipes work like a dream.
The other night I made Herb Roasted Fish, one of the easiest and cheapest recipes in the book. It appears to be a later incarnation of a similar recipe available online here. You cook the fish using a method called en papillote, which is fancy language for “inside a packet made of parchment paper,” and the result is incredibly moist and flavorful fish – even if you use a pretty tasteless (aka affordable) fish like tilapia.
Without further ado, my relatively proletariat-ified version of the recipe:
Begin with fish filets, divided into individual servings.
Place each serving on a sheet of parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and place a spring of thyme and a few olives around the fish.
Paint an egg wash around the edges of the parchment, and seal it into a packet by folding the edges over one another. Bake at 400 degrees for 13-15 minutes, depending on how thick your filets are.
The end result is super moist, flaky fish. It’s both rich and light at the same time and seems quite decadent, despite how easy it is to make. I can only imagine how delicious it would be if I had used Good Olive Oil…