I used to cook today's recipe in a fine Swiss restaurant that was located the edge of a bay in Florida. The Swiss executive chef liked cooking haute cuisine fresh Florida seafood recipes. Depending on availability, we used pompano, flounder and sometimes sole to make this papillote recipe. The oysters, garlic, shallot and tarragon was quite an aromatic topping. When the papillote was cut open at the customer's table, the aroma literally was mouth watering! Heads would turn in the dining room and comments like, "We should have ordered that entree!" were heard from other customers sitting near by!
Cooking en papillote is a type of French Poele Cuisson. The fish is baked in a moist sealed environment, just like when using the Poele technique with a sealed pot. En papillote is a very nice cooking method because it seals all the flavors in with the fish.
Flounder and Tarragon Oysters en Papillote:
This recipe yields 1 entrée.
For a café style presentation, just serve the papillote on a plate. For a refined presentation, the paper bag is cut open on a separate platter, then the fish is placed on a plate.
Step 1: Two small flounder filets that weigh a total of 6 to 7 ounces.
Set the flounder filets aside and note the length of the filets.
Step 2: Cut two sheets of parchment paper into large circle (or oval) shapes that are about 10" in diameter.
*The size of the parchment paper pieces should be tailored to the size of the fish filets. Be sure that the round parchment paper sheets are at least 2 inches wider than the length of the fish filets.
Step 3: Lightly brush both sides of 2 cut parchment papers with melted unsalted butter.
Lightly brush a large sheet pan with melted unsalted butter.
Step 4: Place one piece of the cut parchment paper on the baking pan.
Overlap the 2 small flounder filets on the center of the paper.
Set the pan aside.
Step 5: Heat a small sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
Add 1 thin sliced garlic clove.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of sliced shallot.
Sauté till the garlic turns a light golden color.
Step 6: Add 2 shucked large oysters. (About 1 1/2 ounces to 2 ounces apiece.
Sauté till the oysters are almost fully cooked.
Step 7: Add 2 pinches of tarragon leaf.
Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
Add 2 ounces of dry white wine.
Simmer till the liquid is reduced by more than half. (There should be about 3 tablespoons of thin butter olive oil sauce in the pan.)
Step 8: Remove the pan from the heat.
Spoon the thin sauce, garlic, shallots and oysters over the flounder on the parchment paper that sets on the sheet pan.
Step 9: Place the second piece of buttered parchment on top of the flounder.
Line up the edges of the two pieces of paper.
Neatly fold the edges to seal the two pieces of parchment paper together. The parchment paper bag should be air tight.
Step 10: Place the sheet pan with the papillote in a 350ºF oven.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
*The sealed bag will puff up like a balloon and the butter that was brushed on the outside of the paper bag should turn brown, when the fish is fully cooked.
Step 1: Remove the pan from the oven.
Use a large spatula to place the finished Flounder and Tarragon Oysters en Papillote on a plate.
Serve the entrée while it is still piping hot, so it will be aromatic when the paper bag is cut open.
Use a razor sharp paring knife or thin blade kitchen shears to cut the bag open and fold the paper lid to the side.
Step 2: Serve with a potato and vegetable of your choice. Place the vegetables on the plate after the hot papillote is opened.
*The entrée in the photos was served with a Noisette Butter Roasted Potato Medallion and Sautéed Green Beans.
Oysters and tarragon with flounder creates a very aromatic papillote entrée. Guests will be enticed by the flavor and aroma of this entrée!