Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Flounder en Papillote w/ Vegan Kale PESTO Wild Rice!

OK. I need to calm my excitement, because I’m jumping up and down with how good tonight’s dinner was, and I’m so stoked to share it with you!
tender and moist flounder!
I am getting spoiled! My mom’s friend, who is a wonderful chef, (and shared last night’s pilaf with me) also shared a fish cooking method with me: Fish en Papillote, meaning “fish in parchment” in French. This method steams the fish, making it moist and tender, and cooks the veggies at the same time, in cute little packages! This method is not only ridiculously easy, but also has ZERO clean up!! Double score!
the package, all ready to be closed up!
Here’s what you need:
3 filets of fish (one per person)
handful of spinach
bell pepper, sliced into strips
3 mushrooms, sliced
fresh dill
lemon slices
1/4 cup white wine
salt and pepper
the veggies are hiding under the fish!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take 3 large pieces of tin foil and spray a touch of EVOO onto the center. On each piece of foil, place a small bed of spinach, 1/3 of the peppers, and a few mushroom slices.  Then, place your fish on top of the veggies, and season with S&P. Place 2 lemon slices on top of the fish, followed by a bit of dill. Fold up the ends and sides a bit, and then pour about 2-3 Tbsp of the white wine over the fish (this is what steams your fish and veggies!). “Wrap” your fish in the tinfoil and seal it in so that no steam escapes — creating a little boat. Place your 3 packages on a baking tray, and bake for 35 minutes, until the fish has cooked and the veggies are tender. **When you take it out of the oven, *carefully* open the pouch, because there will be hot steam that could burn you! Have your dining buddies gather ’round when you do the “big reveal” of unwrapping — it’s dramatic and fun!
This recipe seriously highlighted Lobsta Bakes’ awesome wild, ocean-caught flounder!
With these delectable presents, I served GF, Vegan Kale Pesto Wild Rice! Oh my goodness. New. Obsession!! Not only is this dish AMAZING in flavor, it is also packed
with nutrition, since it is made with the superfood, kale! And don’t be fearful of “the kale” in this pesto — you can’t taste it! My parents had NO idea until I told them *after* they ate it — “Oh, by the way, there was kale in that!” :) Jaws hit the floor.
FANTASTIC kale pesto wild rice!
So here’s what you need.
1 package of wild rice
1 cup fresh basil
3 stalks kale – stems removed and steamed
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
juice of half a lemon
1 Tbsp EVOO
3-4 Tbsp water
salt to taste
optional: 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast — this gives it a “cheesy” flavor, like the traditional parmesan in non-vegan pesto
First, get your wild rice going — this takes a good 60 minutes to cook. Meanwhile, steam your kale for 1-2 minutes in a steamer basket, then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Dry it well while you toast your pine nuts. Whirl all the ingredients in the food processor until you get your gorgeous, emerald, creamy pesto! When the rice has finished cooking, let it cool for a few minutes, and then stir in your luscious pesto. Reseason with a bit of salt, and then get ready for a flavor explosion!
lemon and dill perfume the fish!
This meal was absolutely outstanding. Thank you, L, for giving me the heads up on this cooking method! The succulent thing about cooking the fish this way, is that it cooks in a steam bath of white wine, lemon, and dill. It takes on all those flavors in a deliciously moist and tender way.
Revealing the hiding, colorful veggies!
And then there’s the kale pesto rice. Somebody pinch me — this is so fantastic, you will think you’re dreaming. The wild rice is nutty and a bit crunchy, and it is just enveloped in this rich, creamy pesto. It is bright with basil and deep with garlic. It is a creamy, crunchy, fresh, pesto-y, earthy, and nutty party in your mouth!
Go to the store. Get these ingredients. And make this rice. It will be the best decision you make all week! :)
This is another recipe that utilizes my dear friend, the food processor. It is my go-to appliance. Here's the one I use:

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