FISH FILLETS (or Chicken and Vegetables) IN PARCHMENT

Fish & Dairy, Freezes Well, Meat & Poultry

2 tilapia, sole, or whitefish fillets (about 6 oz/180 g each)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp lemon or lime juice (preferably fresh)
1 clove garlic (about 1 tsp minced)
Salt, freshly ground black pepper, and paprika
2 tsp minced fresh basil, dillweed, or thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)

Whether you’re cooking for two or a crowd, this dish is true “wrap-ture!” Cooking in parchment paper saves on clean-up. If you don’t have parchment paper, wrap fish in foil. Foiled again!

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut 2 large squares of parchment paper. Place a fish fillet in the center of each piece of parchment.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and lemon juice. Drizzle each fillet with the oil-lemon mixture, then sprinkle with garlic and seasonings, coating the fish on both sides. Seal the parchment-paper packages by folding up the top, bottom, and sides, and crimping the edges closed with your fingers. Place the packages on a baking sheet and let the fillets marinate inside the parchment for 15 minutes.

3. Bake for 10 minutes. (Or microwave the parchment-paper packages on high for 31/2 to 4 minutes.) Place each package on a dinner plate and cut open at the table. Be careful not to scald yourself when the hot steam escapes once the packages are opened. Serve immediately.

Yield: 2 servings. Recipe easily doubles or triples. Keeps for up to 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator; reheats well. Freezes well for up to 2 months.

209 calories per serving, 1.0 g carbohydrate, 0.1 g fiber, 34 g protein, 7.6 g fat (1.6 g saturated), 85 mg cholesterol, 89 mg sodium, 530 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 21 mg calcium

FISH AND VEGETABLES IN PARCHMENT: Season fillets as directed in Step 2 but, before sealing the packages, top each fillet with: broccoli or cauliflower florets, cherry tomatoes, chopped red pepper, sliced mushrooms, green onions or zucchini. Sprinkle with a little white wine or salsa, then seal. Bake at 400°F for 12 to 15 minutes (or microwave on high for 5 minutes).

CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES IN PARCHMENT: Prepare packets as directed, substituting boneless skinless single chicken breasts for fish fillets. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. (Or microwave 1 breast for 3 minutes on HIGH, 2 breasts for 4 to 4 1/2 minutes, 4 breasts for 6 to 7 minutes (1 to 1 1/4 lbs). Juices from chicken should run clear when done.)

Leftover chicken can be used for stir-fries, wraps, as a topping for chicken salad, ground up and made into chicken patties with addition of egg, crumbs and seasonings, then browning patties in skillet. Add some veggies and sauté them, top with tomato sauce or Oriental sauce (homemade or purchased). The bones can be turned into soup.