This recipe is one of my top ten things to prepare. It's easy, yet refined, with barely any clean up at all.
There's hardly any active cooking (read: you can be drinking wine instead of standing over the stove for the majority of the time), there's not really any way to mess it up, it looks great on the plate, and it tastes phenomenal . Nutritionally it's a home run, with lean protein, good fats, a lot of plants, and no big allergens.
I BELIEVE in cooking at home. It's healthier and more economical, and is likely your only shot at getting the simple foods your body NEEDS. If you're uncomfortable in the kitchen, this is going to be a great gateway recipe for you. Not a lot of chopping, not a lot of dishes, not a lot of stress.
SWORDFISH IN PARCHMENT with cherry tomatoes, capers, and black olives
YOU WILL NEED:
2 Swordfish steaks (you could substitute any fish here, really. I would avoid tuna, however, as it's impossibly tough when cooked thoroughly)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 medium yellow onion, smashed
1/3 cup black olives (gaeta, nicoise, and kalamata are all good), halved
1/4 cup capers, drained
Two branches fresh thyme
Salt and Pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Rice (I cannot cook rice to save my life. It stresses me out. Fortunately rice cookers are $20 on amazon.com and I use mine almost daily. If you live in NYC and hate to cook there is a Chinese restaurant on almost every corner and you can get a quart of plain white or brown rice for under three bucks.)
Parchment paper (you could use tin foil if you don't have parchment, it's just not as pretty. Don't bother with waxed paper though, your entire apartment will smell like melted crayons the second it hits the oven)
1.) Combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, olives, capers , olive oil, and thyme in a large bowl. Cut off two pieces of the lemon's peel and add to the mix. Add salt and pepper to taste, and remember that the capers and olives are salty, so mind.
Cut the skin off the edges of your swordfish, then add to the tomato mixture, making sure that it's completely covered by the tomatoes. Throw it in the refrigerator for an hour, and put the rice on. Have a wine.
Preheat the oven to 400. Cut yourself a large piece of parchment paper, a little bigger than a square.
Locate and remove the garlic cloves from the tomato mix.
Add a spoonful of the tomatoes onto the parchment. You'll want to put it towards the upper right hand corner, not too far from the middle. Place the swordfish on top of the tomato pile, and then cover the fish with a couple more spoonfuls of tomatoes. Drizzle with some olive oil and some of the juice from the tomatoes, locate and add a thyme branch and lemon peel.
Now, this folding bit is going to sound a little complicated, but it's not. All we're doing is creating an air tight little bundle so that the fish can cook in the tomatoes without going all over the place or drying out. If you're using foil, just fold it up so there's no holes. It's way easy.
Fold the bottom left hand corner of the paper to meet the upper right hand corner, so it makes a triangle. Using your hands on top of the parchment, try to get the fish and tomatoes in as tight as possible in their little parcel.
Fold the bottom right hand corner in, about an inch. Press the new crease down to get it tight. Keep making little one inch folds around the edges of the parchment until you get to the opposite side. There will be a little tail of parchment at the end. No matter, just fold it under the left side. Place on a sheet pan. Do the next one, and that's it.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Use a spatula to place each one on a plate. Cut a little hole in the top, and finish with a little more olive oil. Olive oil is your friend, it will not make you fat and it will save you loads of money on wrinkle cream down the way.
Serve right in the parchment with a scoop of rice, and any greens you may have in the house. Chew your food well, eat slow, and enjoy your meal!
I've been cooking since I was seven. Institute of Culinary Education grad and NYC trained chef. Food dork. Health nut. Bounty Hunter of beige foods. I don't think there needs to be a separation between food that's good and food that's good for you.