Red Snapper en Papillote

“This is one of my favorite, versatile recipes for both grill and oven,” says executive chef Michael Weisshaupt of Crystal Springs Resort, where the NJ Wine and Food Festival will be held March 30—April 1, honoring famed chef Thomas Keller. “It’s an easy dish to make and plate, and the papillote technique ensures a moist and delicious fish.”

“You can use many types of fish: snapper, halibut, turbot, sole, fluke or salmon. You can use fillets or whole fish—when using whole fish, pick ones that are 2.5 to 3 lbs each. A variety of herbs and seasonings may be used, according to the season. When making this dish in spring and summer, I recommend serving it with a ripe tomato-basil salad, or seasonal lettuce greens with roasted peppers, mushrooms, artichokes and palm hearts.”

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Serves: 4


4 six-ounce red snapper fillets
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium size white onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into half-moons
1 bulb fennel, shaved on a mandoline
Fennel fronds (top greens), picked off in small strips
4 small bay leaves
8 juniper berries, crushed
20 whole kalamata olives, sliced; slices divided in two
3 garlic cloves, sliced
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup butter, softened and divided in four
1 cup dry white wine, divided in four
1 fresh lime, sliced
salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat your outdoor grill to medium heat or regular oven to 380º.

Set out four pieces of 11×15” aluminum foil and brush each center with the olive oil.  Divide onion slices and shaved fennel between the foils, placing each in the center. Sprinkle with fennel greens and half the olive slices; then add 1 bay leaf and two juniper berries per foil. Top the vegetables with snapper fillets, skin side up.  Season the fish with salt and pepper, top with garlic, cherry tomatoes, remaining olive slices, butter and white wine.

Fold left and right sides of foil toward center then bring the top and bottom of the foil together and fully enclose the fish. Repeat this with the remaining fillets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. To serve, carefully open the papillote and transfer the fish to a serving plate with a large spatula.  Top with all the vegetables and the hot broth from the bottom of the papillote.
Garnish with a slice of fresh lime and serve.

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