In recent times, I've been receiving requests from students and people who live on their own for healthy, quick-to-make recipes. Here is a recipe for an impressive meal you can whip together and have ready to eat in under 20 minutes. This dish is not only great to make for yourself, but also to share. If you're making this for guests, they are bound to be impressed by the presentation. The dish even comes with a fancy name; Tilapia en Papillote – Tilapia in Parchment! It’s like Kinder Surprise! Once the fish in parchment comes out of the oven, you just rip the top portion open and dig in. This time around I used Tilapia fillets but you can easily substitute the Tilapia with Salmon or any other fish of your preference. I enjoy seafood and love that it doesn't feel heavy to eat and that it cooks fast. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
- tilapia fillets - 2 boneless, cleaned fillets
- butter - 2 tablespoons
- olive oil - 3 tablespoons
- thyme - 1 teaspoon
- salt - 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (for taste)
- lemon - 1 lemon (cut 6 circular slices)
- lemon zest - 1 lemon
- cayenne pepper - 1/3 teaspoon
- garlic powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- baby tomoatoes - sliced in half
- onion - 1/2 onion cut into rings
- bell pepper - 1/2 - julienned
- green beans - 1 cup with ends cut off
- parchment paper - 2 square sheets (approximately 10 x 10 inches)
- oregano - 1/2 teaspoon
Clean and wash both of your tilapia fillets (if using frozen ones; defrost overnight in the refrigerator) and pat dry. Lay out the fillets on a plate, evenly sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of thyme, 1/3 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and lemon zest over the top and bottom of your fillets.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and combine with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Drizzle half of the butter sauce/olive oil mix over the fillets by coating the top and bottom.
In a bowl add all of your vegetables. I used green beans, orange and yellow bell peppers along with baby tomatoes and half an onion (you can use any vegetables of your choice; eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach - you name it) Sprinkle 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt (as needed), 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano. Pour the remainder of the butter/olive oil mix into the bowl and toss the vegetables.
Set the oven to 400 degrees.
Lay out the parchment paper, fold into a triangle by leaving a 1/2 inch border (you'll have a smaller triangle on top. Open to see the crease, lay a handful of veggies on the bottom half of the parchment paper, lay the fillet on top, lay out 3 lemon slices and drop 1 teaspoon of butter over the lemon wedges. You'll end up with a delicious and fragrant lemon butter sauce once all that butter melts and seeps through those lemon slices! Fold the parchment paper over, fold the sides over twice and tuck the corners under the pouch. I'm probably not being descriptive enough, hence please refer to the photograph.
Lay out the sealed, airtight pouches on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
Take the parchment pouches out of the oven, place them on plates, tear the top with a knife, open and dig in! You'll have a flaky fish with a fragrant lemon butter sauce along with vegetables. Fast, healthy and easy!