I learned how to make this romantic recipe for Baked Tilapia en Papillote in culinary school a few years ago. The fancy shmancy name threw me into fits of hysteria (yes, I can be a teensy bit overly dramatic at times), because I thought fancy shmancy meant “difficult to make”. Turns out, I was incredibly wrong!
“En papillote” is a simple French term that means “in parchment”. Tilapia for two (fresh or thawed from frozen will work), seasoned with herbs, butter and lemon, then baked to perfection inside of a heart-shaped piece of parchment paper. Healthy, beautiful, delicious, and ROMANTIC… grab your apron and I’ll show you how easy this is to make!
As much as I enjoy a great fish fry, the extra fat and calories have no place in my eating plan these days. But I’m a discriminating eater… I need FLAVOR in my food, especially where white fish like Tilapia is concerned. It can be, dare I say, DISGUSTINGLY BLAND without the addition of some fresh herbs and spices. Typically, herbs like thyme. lemongrass, or dill are used to flavor fish, but I really love the flavor of rosemary, and besides that, it makes a gorgeous garnish. By wrapping the fish up inside of parchment paper, you’re effectively steaming it in its own juices. Add a little melted butter and fresh herbs, and you’ve got a party goin’ on! Besides a small pinch of sea salt, there isn’t much more that needs to be added. Of course, it shouldn’t stop you from creating a great veggie ensemble inside that packet of love. Toss in some asparagus spears, zucchini, sliced cherry tomatoes, onions, or anything else that your stomach is hungry for. You’ll end up with a heart shaped packet of love!
To make the parchment packet, we need to whirl back in time to elementary school. Remember those Valentine’s Day cards you made in art class? Same technique applies here. Fold a piece of parchment paper in half, but rather than cutting a nice curved edge, cut it slightly angled. That way the edges will seal up more easily for you.
Next, lay slices of lemon on one side of the parchment paper. Be sure to leave room around the edges so that you can fold everything up into a nice tight package. Rub both sides of the fish with softened herb butter, set it on top of the lemon slices, and add fresh herbs of your choice on top. If you want to add raw veggies to your packet, now would be the time. Then, fold the parchment paper together again and starting at the pointed bottom, start making small folds all the way up and around the edges of the packet. Place the packet on a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. The easiest (and prettiest) way to serve them is to place the entire sealed packet on a dinner plate and let each person use a knife to slice the top of their packet open. What they’ll find inside is delicious, romantic food love!
- 12 ounces fresh or thawed from frozen Tilapia fillets
- 2 medium sized lemons, cut into 1/8" slices
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) herbed butter, softened (easy recipe here)
- pinch of sea salt
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F
- Fold 2 sheets of parchment paper (each approximately 12 inches long) in half. Use scissors to cut each piece into the shape of a heart. Lay the open heart shaped parchment on a clean work surface. Using the crease as the center of your paper, place sliced lemons on the left side of each heart.
- Use your hands to rub herbed butter on both sides of fish fillets, then place fillets on top of lemon slices. Add one rosemary sprig on top of each fish fillet. Fold right side of heart over the left side.
- Starting at the pointed end of the parchment, make small folds up and around the edges of the paper to completely seal the contents inside.
- Place packets on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer sealed packets onto plates. To open, use a steak knife to make a slice down the center of each packet. OPEN CAREFULLY, as steam will escape once it's been opened!
- Serve and enjoy!
I made this recipe for Tilapia en Papillote as part of the weekly #SundaySupper movement. It’s time to bring the family back around the dinner table on Sunday nights, and this week, the other members and I are are sharing romantic meals for 2. Take a look at all of the other delicious contributions for this week, from food bloggers all over the world.
- Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Ricotta from Casa de Crews
- Kumquat Vanilla Marmalade from Shockingly Delicious
- Southwestern Meatballs wrapped in Bacon from Momma’s Meals
- Almond-Crusted Sole with Mushroom Pilaf for Two from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
- Bacon Crusted Beer Mac and Cheese from Melanie Makes
- Baked Crab Cakes with Lemongrass-Ginger Mayo from The Weekend Gourmet
- Baked Pasta with Sausage and Fontina from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Baked Tilapia En Papillote from It’s Yummi!
- Chicken and Mushroom Alfredo from Cookin’ Mimi
- Drunken Snow Crabs from Family Foodie
- Eggs in Purgatory from Noshing with the Nolands
- Flambéed Veal Chops from MealDiva
- Homemade Philly Cheesesteak Stromboli from In The Kitchen With KP
- Meyer Lemon Butter Sauce Prawns with Linguine from Food Lust People Love
- Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon-Basil Beurre Blanc, Pancetta, Apples and Fennel from Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Pan-Seared Scallops with Linguine and Tomato-Cream Sauce from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Roasted Vegetable Lasagna for Two from Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
- Salmon Pakoras from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Swiss Fondue for Two from Curious Cuisiniere
- White Queso Mac and Cheese for Two from Daily Dish Recipes
Decadent Desserts and Drinks:
- Baked Custard from Magnolia Days
- Cherry Spritzer Ice Cream Float from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Chocolate Budino with Strawberry Hearts from Manu’s Menu
- Chocolate Malt Bread Pudding from Alida’s Kitchen
- Chocolate Marshmallow Duets from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Chocolate Pots de Crème from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Fresh Berry Parfait with Crème Anglaise from Hip Foodie Mom
- Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Sauce from La Bella Vita Cucina
- Funfetti Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle from Take a Bite Out of Boca
- German Rose Water Sugar Cookies For Two from Killer Bunnies, Inc.
- Gluten Free Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles from Gluten Free Crumbley
- Gluten-Free Deep Dish Hot Fudge Brownies for Two from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Ice Cream Stuffed Crepes with Nutella and Fresh Berries from Neighborfood
- Malawian Mbatata Cookies with Coconut Cream from Happy Baking Days
- Orange-scented Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce for Two from girlichef
- Pecan-Crusted Coconut Custards with Brandied Banana Sauce from The Texan New Yorker
- Pistachio Pudding For Two (From Scratch) from Chocolate Moosey
- 3 Japanese-Style Treats for Your Sweet from Ninja Baking
- Valentine’s Cupcakes with a Surprise from From the Bookshelf
- White Hot Chocolate from Pies and Plots