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Sand Dabs en Papillote


CSF pick-up day, from Real Good Fish, might just be my favorite food day of the week! This week we received pan-ready sand dabs - 'pan-ready' meaning that they had been headed and gutted for me. All I needed to do was figure out how we wanted to eat them.

I love reading the weekly newsletter for information on which fisherman and which boat caught the seafood. In this case it was Geoff Bettencourt on the Miss Moriah in Half Moon Bay. It also said, "For maximum freshness, eat or freeze by: 7/26." Easy!

Sand Dabs (Citharichthys sordidus) are a flatfish like the sole, halibut, and flounder. Not too fishy and quick to cook.


En papillote is a method of cooking that involves making an envelope out of parchment paper and roasting the fish in the package. I love it! The steam produced in the packet keeps the fish moist, and it's a fun presentation to open the fish packet at the table.

Ingredients serves 4
  • 4 to 8 sand dab fillets, cleaned (you can put 2 sand dabs into each packet, if you have enough fish)
  • 1 C thinly sliced roasted bell peppers (HOW TO: Roast Peppers), divided
  • 1/2 C kalamata olive, pitted and halved, divided
  • 8 sprigs organic cilantro
  • 4 t chopped organic mint leaves, divided
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • good quality olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • also needed: parchment paper



Procedure
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

Place 1/4 C roasted peppers on the center of a piece of parchment paper that’s long enough that you can completely envelop your ingredients and create a packet. Place a fillet on top of the peppers and top the fish with 1/8 C olives.

Lay the herbs - 2 sprigs cilantro and 1 t chopped mint - on top of that. Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. 

Bring the sides of the parchment up around the fillet and fold the edges together, rolling it down to the fish. Crimp the ends together, folding them in till fish is completely enclosed. Place the packet on a rimmed baking sheet.

Roast for 25 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and let steam for another five minutes. Serve as is, letting diners open their packets at the table.


You will be seeing this dish paired with a Malvasia Bianco for an upcoming #ItalianFWT. Stay tuned. Cin cin.

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