I don't cook as much fish as I probably should, a fact I'm trying to correct. Most of the hesitation concerns my belief that fish is somehow difficult to cook, a fact which is completely upended by this incredibly simple recipe, adapted from Bon Appétit. Just toss everything in a pouch, wrap it up, and place it in the oven. After 15 minutes, the fish comes out flaky and tender, with a hassle-free sauce ready to pour on top.
Of course, you've got to make sure everything that goes in the pouch is there to stay, and that all the ingredients get along nicely. Nothing can be done to the food after it goes in the oven. I took the easy way out with this Mediterranean-inspired version, which comes out hot and fragrant, thanks in part to the fresh thyme and all those olives. Make sure to use the really good extra-virgin olive oil here. It forms the base of the sauce, which you can soak up with some white rice or just eat with a spoon. Either way is delicious.
- 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 six-ounce red snapper fillets
- 10 Kalamata olives, pitted, havled
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Take a sheet of aluminum foil that is at least 18 inches long. In the middle pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the red snapper fillets skin side down. Pile on the tomatoes, shallot, thyme, and olives over the fillets. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with the other tablespoon of olive.
Fold the aluminum foil up around the around the fish, creating a tight pouch. Set on a baking sheet in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
Carefully unfold the aluminum foil. Transfer fish and all the juices to a plate. Serve with white rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.