Sometimes Dina pulls a meal out of the bag that just makes my jaw drop. In this case, she literally pulled it out of a bag (or more appropriately, a pouch). It's a simple concept, throw in a bunch of ingredients in an envelope made from a folded over piece of parchment paper, bake in the oven and let the steam do the work. Our version of Fish en Papillote.
We set up a small assembly line and put together the pouches in layers. First some yellow and green string beans, cubed bell peppers, zucchini and onions, and sliced mushrooms at the bottom. Then a few small bay scallops scattered on the vegetables. Next, a basa filet on top, seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and a sprig of thyme. Finally, to help the steam do its work, some lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and a splash of white wine. To create a tight seal, fold the parchment paper in half and fold the edges all around, creating an oval shaped pouch that you then place on a baking sheet and toss in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
You would not believe the scent that permeated the kitchen only 10 minutes into the cooking time. I would strongly recommend making this dish for several reasons:
1-It's healthy, since you control the amount of fat without sacrificing flavour.
2-The steam makes the fish tender and moist, while infusing all of the added flavours into it.
3-It's a fun (fast and easy) way to cook!
Don't forget to serve this dish with a straw. You won't want to waste a drop of that flavourful broth that collects at the bottom of the pouch.
With the quickness, versatility and amazing flavour of this dish, we wouldn't hesitate to make this a weekly staple in our household.