A Gluten-Free Symphony

Lately it seems like everywhere I turn people are talking about a “symphony of flavors” when discussing food, the high and low notes, the way the food plays on your tongue. I decided to put together a dinner using ingredients I had on hand to see if I could create my own gluten-free symphony.

My friend Havilah and I have been discussing recipes for “fish en papillote” or fish baked in parchment paper. This technique seals in and heightens the flavor of the food, and as an added benefit it is a beautiful way to present your meal.

I had a Chilean Sea Bass filet in my fridge that I had planned on pan-searing but instead used it as the base for my fish en papillote. After pouring through my copy of Culinary Artistry for some flavor inspiration, I mixed low-sodium gluten-free soy sauce, crushed ginger, a touch of honey and a few slices of jalapenos to kick up the spice. I wrapped my filet in parchment and let it marinate in the sauce for 30 minutes before baking.

While the fish was marinating, I was faced with the question of what would best accompany it. I had a box of quinoa left over from this recipe so I prepared a mushroom quinoa pilaf using a marinated mushroom melody from Trader Joe’s. The garlic and bay seasoning in the mushrooms was infused into the quinoa without overpowering it.

The Chilean Sea Bass turned out beautifully. As I opened the parchment paper, the sauce oozed onto the plate to join the quinoa pilaf. The flavors married so well, I am looking forward to making it again. Because Chilean Sea Bass is a tender white fish and its flavor is quite subtle, this sauce was a little too strong. For future iterations I will try different white fish filets.

Spicy Fish en Papillote

2 6-8oz fish filets, skin removed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup low-sodium gluten-free soy sauce
1 tablespoon crushed ginger
2 teaspoons honey
10 slices of jalapeños

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

After removing the skin from your fish filets, salt and pepper all sides of the filet. Combine the other ingredients in a separate bowl. Set two separate pieces of parchment paper on a baking sheet and place the filets on each. Pour the sauce on each filet and seal the paper (some recipes call for an egg wash to do this, I was able to fold it closed without the wash). Let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.

Remove from oven, let the paper deflate a bit and transfer to your serving plate. Be careful of the steam that will escape when tearing open the parchment paper.

I will be trying some of Havilah’s recipes soon, so stay tuned. Let me know if you have any tips using this technique.

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