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Fish, so often, is one of those foods you save for restaurant meals. Home kitchen avoidance begins with doubt that we can really prepare this seemingly delicate protein with any skill. And its limited refrigerator shelf life and cooking odors don’t help either. Here’s where Adam Rappaport, editor of Bon Appetit comes to the rescue with a new cookbook all about grilling. I don’t yet own this book, but will tell you that his recent appearance on the book tour, reminded me of how perfect the grill is for cooking fish. Seasonable vegetables give creative license to preparing fish fillet packets, but, the key to success is in the fish.

A sturdy, flaky fish such as halibut or cod is ideal for grilling. I went rogue and chose a fillet of sole because it was fresh at the market and reasonably priced. Sole is a fish I have yet to master, and this episode was no different. Yet, aside from the fish selection, this one-packet meal delivered everything one wants in a weeknight meal. Easy, fast, healthy and with a do-ahead option.

Layering within the packets is your way of controlling the cooking for each item. Start with onions, then fish and, for vegetables with a toothsome bite and those more delicate, place them on top of the fish. In this case, and we know not to follow all in this case, I put vegetables under the fish because sole cooks quickly.

Vary your ingredients according to tastes. I left out the asparagus for my son, but loaded up the tomatoes.

grilled fish fillets – one packet meal

preptime 15 minutes 4 servings

cooktime 10 minutes
2 c assorted summer squash, thicker slices or chunks

1 c asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces

1/4 c shallot or onion, thinly sliced

1/4 c fresh basil, thinly sliced, plus 1/4 cup basil leaves

20 cherry tomatoes, halved

4 T dry white wine

2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 6-ounce skinless white flaky fish fillets (such as Atlantic cod or halibut)

  1. Fold 4 24×12-inch pieces of heavy-duty foil in half crosswise; open foil and place on a work surface.
  2. Sprinkle shallots and sliced basil over, dividing equally.
  3. Place a fish fillet atop shallots & basil.
  4. Add vegetables in this order: squash, asparagus, then tomatoes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle 1/2 T of olive oil and 1T white wine over each fillet.
  6. Fold and crimp edges of foil to seal packages.
  7. Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high.
  8. Place packets on grill grate. Grill until fish is just cooked through (a toothpick poked through the foil will slide through fish easily), about 10 minutes.
  9. Carefully cut open packets (steam will escape). Garnish with basil leaves.

Serve with steamed rice or crusty bread.
crunchtimewarp: Make 4 hours ahead. Chill. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before continuing.


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