Thursday, 21 January 2016

Seabass En Papillote with Jeweled Couscous and Roasted Kale

This is a beautiful, healthy and delicious dish that's perfect for January when most are putting the gluttonous days of December behind them.

The fish is light and fresh, and the accompaniments can be changed to suit your preference.

I got the idea for the en papillote with rosemary and lemon whilst dining in The Ivy in Hong Kongs' IFC Mall, and having made it at home now can see this becoming a regular dish - it's so simple to prepare but tastes fantastic and the great thing is it can be prepared in five minutes and on the table in fifteen which makes it ideal for mid-week meals.

The below served myself (1 fillet), Bridget - our fifteen month old (1 fillet) and my partner Glen (2 fillets) and a full portion comes in at around 415 calories.

Bridget loved this meal so it's a great choice for families with little ones and sea bass is quite inexpensive these days too. Why not give it a try for your children - it's a great alternative to cod.

Seabass En Papillote with Jewelled Couscous and Kale

Here's how:

  • x4 sea bass fillets
  • 6-8 fresh rosemary twigs (don't supplement for dried - it won't work here)
  • 2 large lemons
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 100g dried couscous
  • Seeds of half a pomegranate
  • Handful fresh mint leaves
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • Half a cucumber
  • Handful of radishes
  • 3 spring onions
  • 100-120g kale
  • Sea salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Dried Chilli Flakes
Firstly pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C and fill and boil the kettle.

Now lay the kale onto an ovenproof dish or tray, sprinkle with a pinch each of sea salt and black pepper and drizzle with a tiny bit of rapeseed or olive oil or use a spray - one spritz, if you have that. Set aside.

Now thinly slice one of the lemons - use the whole fruit to get a good load of skinny slices. Get enough greaseproof paper to line and make a parcel over the fish into an ovenproof dish and drizzle with a tiny bit of oil. Scatter 3-4 of the lemon slices around the dish and 3 or four of the rosemary sprigs. 

Now place each sea bass fillet, skin side down, onto the dish. Season with sea salt and black pepper (omit the sea salt if you are serving one fillet for a child or weaning baby). Now place a couple of the lemon slices on top of each fillet and then place the rosemary atop of each also. Drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Now wrap the greaseproof paper around top loosely cover the fish - I tuck one end under the fish to ensure it's enclosed as this is essential for this type of cooking - alternatively you can buy specific bags for cooking in this way. 

Seabass ready to be cooked en papillote

Now place both the fish and the kale into the oven to cook for 15 minutes.

Now you can concentrate on the couscous - place the 100g dried couscous into a bowl or jug, then cover with 160ml boiling water. Stir with a fork then cover with a plate and leave to one side for five minutes.

Finely shred the coriander and mint and remove the pomegranate seeds ready for the couscous, and once all the water has been absorbed, fluff up with a fork and then add the herbs and seeds and give final stir, then place the plate back on top to keep warm. I also sometimes add the zest of one of the lemons to add a hit of zingy citrus to the couscous.

You can now prepare your side salad. Using a vegetable peeler create slithers of the yellow pepper, cucumber, radish and spring onions.

Once the fifteen minutes is up, remove the kale and the seabass from the oven and leave to stand for 1 minute. In the meantime dish up the couscous and side salad. 

Roasted Kale with chilli

Seabass Weaning Portion

Now this can be adjusted to taste or omitted completely but whenever I toast kale, I like to add a teaspoon full of dried chilli flakes before serving which makes the crunchy accompaniment even more flavourful. Add to the plate and use a fish slice to dish up the sea bass fillets. Serve with a wedge of lemon. Enjoy!

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