This classic cookbook always maintained a permanent spot on my cookbook shelf and every once in a while, I get it down to dust it but it's been a loooooong time since I've opened up this old friend and flipped through its pages.
I'm not sure what possessed me to grab this book off the shelf last week, maybe it was nostalgia, but I had this sudden urge to look through the cookbook that I used to depend on so faithfully. I will admit that I was really surprised when I opened it. I guess I expected the recipes to be outdated and somewhat old fashioned. What I found was quite the opposite. There were recipes for homemade fondant and brioche, crepes suzette and bloody marys!! 🍹
The fish recipes were the ones that really stood out to me though. Wild rice stuffed fish, grilled halibut with sherry sauce and fish en papillote. (which means "Fish in paper.") 🐟 Why have I never made these amazing delicious sounding recipes before? My only explanation is that when I first started cooking, I steered clear of anything that sounded remotely fancy or complicated. Tuna casseroles and oven baked salmon were more in my comfort zone in the early 90s.
After a 20 year hiatus from my Better Homes and Garden Cook Book, I feel like I'm looking at with a new perspective now. A few more years of cooking experience under my belt has made me less apprehensive about messing up a recipe. (#theresalwayspizza) I'm also more comfortable with putting my own twist on a recipe by swapping out ingredients than I was when I first started cooking.
Fish en Papillote is one of the first recipes that caught my eye. It's a simple way to prepare fish but it's an elegant way to serve it. I love all of the flavors in the sauce too. You can make it rich and creamy by using whole milk or lighter and thinner by substituting lemon juice and white wine. Fresh herbs are a nice addition to this little flavor packet too. 🌿😉
Fish en Papillote
4 fish filets
1 cup water
2 lemon slices
1 bay leaf
1 chicken bouillon cube (or 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules)
1 carrot, sliced thin
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup milk
To serve, transfer a fish packet to each plate. Cut an x in the top and peel back the paper. Viola - deliciously simple and elegant fish dinner!
Now I feel like I have a new whole new collection of recipes to explore and I couldn't be more excited. If you happen to have one of these cookbooks that's been sitting on your shelf for quite a while, I highly recommend dusting it off and flipping through it. And if you use this cookbook regularly - I want to know which recipes you love.
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