To wrap fish in parchment paper will protect the against the high heat. The steam can still escape, but the fluids and the flavours are kept inside. You can use almost any fish with this technique, but I would suggest to use whole fish. Serve the fish still wrapped in paper and "open" it on the table. A burst of wonderful flavours will escape. Serve it with some bread to dip up the wonderful flavoured juices.
- Preheat oven (390° F, 200° C).
- Pepare a parchment paper large enough to wrap the fish. Spread a little of the olive oil where you will put the fish on.
- Crush the black peppercorns a little in a mortar and pestal, but it should be coarse though.
- Remove from one rosemary sprig, the leaves. You can chop them, but I prefer to leave the small leaves as they are.
- Clean the fish and brush both sides with olive oil. Salt to taste (inside and outside).
- Put 2 sprigs of rosemary into the cavity and also add a small piece of butter. If you like, put 2 slices of lemon into the cavity too.
- Sprinkle a little of black pepper and rosemary leaves onto the parchment paper and then place the fish on it.
- Cover the fish with the rest of black pepper and the rosemary leaves.
- Squash the garlic cloves (do not peel them) and place them on top of fish. Cut the butter into small pieces and arrange on top of fish too.
- Wrap the parchment paper around the fish to make a package. Fold over the edges to seal the package.
- Brush a little of the olive oil over the paper. This will protect it from burning.
- Put the package on a baking tray and bake for about 25 minutes.
- Serve the fish hot in the package.
- NOTE: use smaller fish for this recipe.
I thought this was a lovely way of cooking sea bass. The fish released a lot of fragrant steam when I opened the paper and the flavours were subtle and delicious. However, I reduced the rosemary as the rosemary we get here in Greece is much more pungent than the one typically found elsewhere, and I didn't want to overpower the fish. I was also surprised by how much flavour was added by such a small amount of butter. A great recipe.