Fabulous Fish Made Easy
April 24th, 2012

fish1Fish can be both a delicious and nutritious meal, but one from which home chefs often shy away.

“Cooking fish is easy once you know a few tricks,” says Carla Hall, who was voted season eight all-stars fan favorite on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” “A lot of people have fish fears, which is unfortunate because it’s a healthy addition to any diet.”

Halibut en Papillote With Roasted Tomato-Artichoke Ragout
Source: All recipes and photos are courtesy of http://www.canolainfo.org.


This dish is the easiest of all in this recipe collection. “En papillote” is French for “in parchment,” which is used to steam fish in the oven. Not only does it quickly cook the fish and infuse it with other ingredient flavors, the parchment offers a unique presentation that is sure to impress your guests. They will never know it only took you 20 minutes to prepare.

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup dry white wine

1 16-ounce jar diced, fire-roasted tomatoes with juice

1 8-ounce jar artichokes, coarsely chopped

4 4-ounce halibut fillets

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

9-by-13-inch parchment paper (roll)


1 lemon, cut into quarters

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


In a large skillet, heat canola oil to medium heat. Sauté onions with fresh thyme until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 more minute. Pour in white wine; bring to a boil and cook until almost evaporated. Add tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in artichokes. Remove pan from heat; remove thyme sprigs and let cool. This step may be done a day ahead.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut four large rectangles of parchment paper and fold in half; unfold. Divide tomato-artichoke ragout among parchment paper pieces. Season each halibut fillet on both sides with pepper and place on top of ragout.

Put a few drops of canola oil on top half of each parchment piece and rub it around so fish does not stick. Fold parchment over fish like a book. Start sealing at the edge of fold. Working in 2-inch sections, fold about ¼ inch of open edges over and crease tightly. Fold again. Continue working around open edges of parchment, overlapping folded sections slightly. Finish with a double fold at the end of the packet. Make sure folds are creased tightly so they do not open. Repeat to make three more packets.

Place packets on a large baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until fish is opaque. Tear an “X” in top of each packet and sprinkle with chopped parsley and lemon juice from ¼ lemon. Serve immediately.

Serves 4


Broiled Trout With Lemon Oil and Oven-Grilled Vegetables

The star of this recipe is delicious lemon canola oil, which should be a staple in any pantry. It may be used on fish, in salad dressings, on roasted vegetables and just about anywhere you would use canola oil. Here, it makes this simply prepared broiled trout with vegetables a healthy and tasty meal.

Lemon Oil

1 cup canola oil

Zest of two lemons, about 2 tablespoons

In a blender, combine canola oil and lemon zest. Process until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh strainer. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or a covered jar for 1 to 2 days.

2 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into ¼-inch thick diagonal pieces

1 pint grape tomatoes

1 medium red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced into half moons

4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

2 sprigs rosemary

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 6-ounce rainbow trout fillets, skin removed

2 teaspoons lemon oil

4 sprigs fresh rosemary, 2 inches long

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges for garnish


Preheat broiler. In large a bowl, combine zucchini, grape tomatoes, red onion, garlic and rosemary. Drizzle vegetable mixture with balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon oil. Toss, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet and place 4 inches under broiler for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender crisp and browned. Halfway through cooking time, toss vegetables.

While vegetables are cooking, prepare baking sheet with foil and cooking spray. Place trout on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle both sides with pepper and place a rosemary sprig under each fillet. Drizzle each fillet with ½ teaspoon lemon oil. Place fish under the broiler for 7 to 8 minutes or until fish is opaque and flaky.

Carefully lift trout from pan with spatula and serve with vegetables.

Serves 4

Tuna Stir-Fry Over Whole-Wheat Vermicelli

12 ounces tuna steak, cut into ½-inch cubes

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 garlic clove, smashed

2 pieces ginger, cut into ¼-inch rounds

1 large carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces

8 to 12 spears asparagus ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and tops cut into ¼-inch strips

1 cup frozen edamame beans, thawed

Canola oil cooking spray

Stir-Fry Sauce

¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water


1 pound whole-wheat vermicelli, cooked according to box instructions


In a medium bowl, toss tuna with canola oil to ensure perfectly seared tuna. Set aside.

Heat wok or skillet to medium-high to high heat. Spray cooking oil to coat pan; add smashed garlic and ginger pieces to flavor oil. After 20 seconds, add carrots. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and add asparagus. Spray more canola oil, if necessary, to keep vegetables from sticking. Cook an additional 2 minutes, or until asparagus is bright green and carrots are tender. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.

Spray pan with canola oil cooking spray or oil. Add mushroom pieces. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned. Remove from pan.

Reheat pan to medium-high to high heat. Add tuna in 2 to 3 batches without crowding pan. Gently move tuna around with a spatula. Sear tuna until just cooked. Remove and set aside.

Return carrots, asparagus and mushrooms to wok or skillet. Add edamame and tuna. Make a well in the center and pour stir-fry sauce in the middle. Coat vegetables with sauce and quickly bring to a boil. Serve tuna-vegetable mix over hot vermicelli.

Serves 6