Steaming fish in parchment-paper packets, also known as cooking en papillote, is a classic technique that allows you to cook all your vegetables and fish at the same time in a quick, easy, and convenient way. Flavours of lemon, garlic, and spicy dried chili make this a simple, yet showstopping meal.
Wild-caught Pacific halibut has Ocean Wise and Marine Stewardship Council certifications and is fished using longlines, which is a more selective method of fishing that results in less bycatch.
Involve family or guests in the prep and have everyone make their own packet. Once you’ve mastered the technique, it’s easy to change up the ingredients. Make sure you select vegetables that will cook at the same rate as the fish.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
For chili oil, in small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, and chili flakes. Zest lemon and add to bowl, reserving remainder of lemon.
In large bowl, toss kale with approximately 3/4 of the chili oil mixture and allow to stand for about 15 minutes.
From half of reserved zested lemon, cut 4 thin slices, crosswise, and then cut slices once more so you have 8 half-moons. You should now have 8 half-moons and just over half a lemon. Set aside while you assemble fish packets.
Cut parchment paper into 4 pieces measuring approximately 20 x 14 in (51 x 37 cm). On large work surface, lay parchment pieces out flat and place 1/4 of kale in centre of each piece. Top with a portion of halibut, season with salt and pepper to taste, and arrange tomatoes around each piece of halibut. Divide and drizzle remaining chili oil and squeeze juice from remaining half of lemon over each piece of halibut. Finally, top each piece of halibut with 2 lemon half-moons. Seal packets by folding long edges of parchment toward centre, rolling and crimping up edges.
Place sealed packets on large baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. To serve, either let everyone dive into their own packet or, for a more formal presentation, open packets and, with a large spatula, sweep contents of each packet onto individual plates. Garnish with chopped chives, and enjoy.
A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.
Up your omega-3 intake with these easy-to-make salmon parchment pockets. The sockeye fillets are first rubbed with a marinade of juniper berries, citrus zest, and garlic before being enclosed in parchment. Juniper has a strong and piney flavour and lends a unique tang to this dish. It also contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to capture the juices that arise during steaming. No mortar and pestle? Crush juniper berries by laying them between two sheets of parchment and bashing them gently with a rolling pin.
Escarole is a bitter green that stands up to heat and is suitable for grilling, braising, or using in soups. In this salad, it’s broiled with radishes before being dressed in a sweet, garlicky dressing that cuts the bitterness. Escarole is high in folate (vitamin B9), important in red blood cell formation, and vitamin A, important in immune function and eye health. Like kale and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s also very high in vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting. Bitter green substitutes If you can’t find escarole, use frisée (also called curly endive), mustard greens, or radicchio. Romaine also stands up to heat well and makes a good substitute, but it lacks the characteristic bitterness of the others.
In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.