07 March 2013

Easy Dinner // Fish Foil Packets

I'm not sure what your grocery store habits are, but I am never one to go to the store without a list. In fact, I am so into lists, that I have been known to sort my lists based on what section of the grocery store the item is located in, because I am a cartographer of most grocery stores in Chicago and have the blueprint of said grocery stores imprinted into my Type-A brain. Deal with it.

But last week, the universe decided to throw a challenge at me. Not as complex as anything out of a mystery box on Iron Chef, just the odd task of having to go to Marino's, my beloved, sans grocery list or even an idea of what it was I would be prepping for dinner for two. I know, shoot me. As my partner in crime and I wondered hungrily and aimlessly through the store, it occurred to me that we both had smart phones, and that I had a whole bunch of recipes I'd starred in my inbox ripe for the picking.

 I remembered seeing these darling little fish foil packets on The Kitchn a couple of weeks ago, and I thought to myself, by golly does that look delicious AND easy, not  to mention light and dare I say... healthy? Picking up the ingredients was a cinch, and what's even better about this recipe is that you can basically improvise with whatever you have in your fridge, pantry, and spice rack. We went with a few fresh fillets of Tilapia, spinach, tomatoes, red onion, and thyme with fresh squeezed lime. Prep time was under five minutes, cook time was under twenty. While the fillets are in the oven, you can put together a pretty little salad, whip up some rice, or watch Jennifer Lawrence's amazing post-Oscar's press conference. Because why not?


Serves two

1 pound fish fillets, about 1-inch thick
2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves
1 quarter red onion, thinly sliced
20 or so cherry tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 lemon, cut into 2 wedges
Salt and pepper
Olive oil or butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  2. Check the fish over and remove any pin bones. Divide it into two equal portions.
  3. Lay out two sheets of aluminum foil, each about 12-14 inches long. Pile a large handful of baby spinach leaves in the middle of each piece of foil. Lay one fish fillet on each bed of spinach. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Lay a few slices of onion over the top of each fillet and scatter the cherry tomatoes on and around the fish. Lay two sprigs of thyme over top. Give each packet a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil (or a pat of butter).
  5. Fold the sides of the foil inwards around the fish. Then fold in the top and bottom of the foil and pinch them closed, creating a neat package. Set them side-by-side on a baking sheet and bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the fish is opaque.
  6. Open the packets carefully to avoid spilling the juices. Eat straight from the packets or transfer to a plate with a slotted spatula. Spoon some of the juices over top. 
  7. Eat immediately.
 Serve with crusty bread, a light salad, or brown rice.

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