Cook the Book: Pompano in a Foil Bag

Cook the Book: Pompano in a Foil Bag

Book CoverGrilling is commonly associated with big, bold flavors; hearty portions of meat slathered with sauce; and vegetables dripping with butter-based marinades—not exactly heath food. If you're not careful, backyard dining can sabotage your waistline.

But it doesn't have to.

There are plenty of ways to grill lite. Today's Cook the Book recipe, from New South Grilling, is for Pompano in a Foil Bag. Mild, white fish filets (if you can't find pompano, substitute mahi-mahi or red snapper) are sealed in packets with wine, spices, and aromatics, and then placed on the grill to steam. The results are incredibly flavorful, and the aroma that rises when the foil packets are spit open is truly something special.

This dish would be a great way to celebrate Father's Day without added fat and calories—because you want Dad around for years to come.

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  • Yield:6 servings


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup small dice yellow onions
  • 3/4 cup small julienne carrots
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 cup small dice leeks
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning (recipe follows)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 pompano filets (7-8 ounces each)
  • Special equipment
  • Six 12 x 18 pieces of aluminum foil
  • 1/2 cup Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme


  1. 1.

    In a medium sauté pan, melt the first 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Place the onions and carrots in the melted butter and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the celery, leeks, garlic, salt, 1/2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning, and Old Bay seasoning, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the wine, lemon juice, and fresh thyme, and allow the mixture to reduce until a thick glaze is formed. Remove from heat.

  2. 2.

    Lay the foil sheets out on a flat surface. Brush the center of each sheet with olive oil. Place the pompano filets on the oiled foil and season them with the remaining 2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning. Divide the cooked vegetable mixture between the pompano filets and spread evenly to cover the top of the fish. Top each fish with one tablespoon cold butter.

  3. 3.

    Fold the foil over the fish and crimp the edges of the foil tightly.

  4. 4.

    Prepare the grill. Cook the foil packages over direct medium heat for 12-14 minutes. Remove from the grill and serve.

  5. 5.

    Creole Seasoning

  6. 6.

    - makes 1 cup -

  7. 7.

    Combine all ingredients.