Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Foil Packets, Improved

Growing up, I was a Brownie, Girl Guide and Pathfinder which meant a lot of camping and more importantly, campfire food. There were s'mores, hotdogs and even cupcakes baked in an oven made with bricks and foil. And many foil packets. Now these always seemed like a fun and convenient meal but almost never turned out well. Most of the time the packets broke in the coals, or the veggies were raw by the time the meat was cooked. And even in a rare perfectly-cooked packet, they just didn't have a whole lot of flavour. I hope the Girl Guides have moved on to better meals by now!

Anyway, foil packets may not have worked out well at a campsite, but they're an easy and delicious way to cook some fish in the oven. I added some tomato sauce here and served over some fresh pasta from the market (YUM) but you don't need to...just cook with the veggies. You can use whatever vegetables you want but make sure they either cook quickly or have been pre-cooked to ensure they will cook through while in the oven.

Fish in Foil Packets

2 white fish filets or one large piece of fish (which is what I usually do)
1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
1/2 zucchini, sliced
1/2 lemon, cut into 2 wedges
olive oil
salt and pepper

1 can San Marzano tomatoes
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees or 204 degrees Celsius

1. Make the sauce: cook diced onions over medium heat in the olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat while you prepare the foil packets. Don't worry so much about the tomatoes completely breaking down it will be a bit easier if they still have some shape later.

2. Lay out one or two sheets of aluminum foil depending on how many fillets you're using. Make sure they're large enough to wrap the fish with some extra room. Place fish on the foil and top with spinach and zucchini, and any other veggies you are using.

3. Carefully spoon tomato sauce over the fish. I added mostly tomato chunks to the packet and reserved the rest to add later.

4. Season well with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.

5. Fold up the short edge of the foil first and then roll up the long edge to create a sealed packet. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 20 minutes or until the fish is opaque. Serve over pasta or rice with the remaining tomato sauce, as needed.

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