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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Parchment paper fish and sustainable fishing

I love anything that comes from the sea.  
I can't help it, it's the marine biologist in me. 
  I love all of those cute little critters
 Love. Love love love.  


I love to play with them, catch them, learn about them, and hey, even dress like them.  
But I really love to eat them. 

As much as I love all of the various underwater delicacies, I usually can't afford them.  Sometimes I make it to the "dollar-an-oyster-happy-hour"  or splurge on that $20 lobster roll.  A bag of shrimp is $18 at the Big Y, and even with their BOGO promotion, I still have a hard time putting it in the shopping cart.  I love shrimp, but due to the outrageous prices and lack of sustainable fishing, I rarely buy it.

I buy seafood when it is on sale at the store or I will splurge for special occasions.  I try to shop fresh and local at farmers markets, and make sustainable choices when I am at the grocery store.   One thing I can always count on is Swai.  Swai is a farmed river catfish- an herbivorous and sustainable fish.  It is also $9.99 for a packet of three filets. Oh and it's ALWAYS buy one get two free.  Nine fillets of fish for less than $10.

(Information from the Monteray Bay Aquarium Sustainable Seafood Guide)

It is pretty plain in flavor but with some TLC can be turned into a delicious meal.  I like to use Swai when I make parchment paper fish.  Parchment paper fish is a "one pot meal" that packs a lot of flavor in your fish and keeps the fish moist and tender. 

You can try to fold your parchment paper all fancy 
(the idea is to trap all of the steam) 
 or go the lazy route and buy the parchment paper packets
(that is what I do). 

Dice, Season, Stuff. 
 It's that easy.  
Dice up your veggies - I used zucchini, squash, tomato onion, and red peppers.  I seasoned my fish with lemon pepper, salt and garlic powder.  I stuffed my seasoned fish and veggies into the packet with some cilantro, olive oil, sliced lemon and chopped garlic.  

I cooked it at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the fish was flaky and the veggies tender.  The first few times I made this I followed Chuck's recipe from Chuck's day off.  Now I just wing it and try to find new veggie combinations and flavors. 

There are so many things to love about this dish.  
It is healthy, low carb, colorful, flavorful, and requires little prep and even less clean up.    
Dump contents of bag onto plate and throw the bag in the garbage. 

 It is a beautiful thing.  

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