Unfortunately, fish is super expensive, especially when buying sustainable fish. My rule of thumbs is that if it is under $10 a pound than it is probably not the most eco-friendly fish. Always try and buy from your local fish market, if you have one, and ask questions like these:
- What country is it from?
- Is the fish wild-caught or farm-raised?
- If it is farmed, how was it grown? (Was it raised in a polluting open net pen or in a contained tank or pond?)
- If it is wild, how was it caught? (Were long lines used, or was it caught by pole? Long lines often catch extra unwanted "bycatch" like dolphins and sharks.)
- Are populations of this fish healthy and abundant? (Small, fast-growing fish can withstand more fishing pressure, while large, slow-growing species are more vulnerable to overfishing.)
Last night we splurged on two filets of local Santa Barbara Rock Cod from the Santa Barbara Fish Market located in the harbor. They were on sale for $12.95 lb. I decided to prepare them baked in parchment, a technique also called papillote. I love cooking this way because it is easy and the cleanup is near to none.
The fish turned out delicious and flavorful. Jason couldn't stop raving about it. This recipe is interchangeable... you can use other types of fish like halibut, snapper or sea bass. Use whatever is in season. Enjoy!
local rock cod in papillote
by nirasha holcomb
|Santa Barbara Rock Cod in Papillote|
2 large sheets parchment paper
2 large fish filets like rock cod or snapper
salt & pepper
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped (I used rosemary)
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 small fennel bulb, chopped
1/4 cup caper berries, sliced into coins
6 kalamata olives, sliced
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. On a sheet tray, lay each filet in the center of parchment paper and season the fish with salt and pepper. Coat them with a little olive oil.
In a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients along with a little more salt and pepper and olive oil. Toss to combine.
Top each filet with the vegetable mixture, making sure to cover the fish evenly. Wrap the fish like a package by folding up the sides and then the top. You can even stable the parchment if you want. You just need to ensure that the moisture stays inside.
Place in the oven and cook for 7-9 minutes. Remove and open each package but be careful of the steam. Serve immediately.