One of the nicest and best looking chefs I know is Benny the Chef
. His newest book, The Art of Cooking According to Me
, sits happily in my kitchen with multiple crimped corners leading to pages covered in a variety of food splatters. I have learned so much about Italian cooking from this book and am deeply indebted to him. Like his Facebook Page
! Many thanks to Benny for allowing me to share this recipe with you.
Ingredients for 4 people
4 big fish fillets (salmon, trout, sea bream, red snapper, white fish, halibut)
4 cloves crushed garlic
2 Tbsp capers
2 Tbs bread crumbs
2 anchovy fillets
2 slices stale bread
A handful of black olives
A bunch of fresh parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
Ground white pepper
In a food processor put the olives, the bread, the capers, the bread crumbs, the anchovies, two cloves of crushed garlic, a few leaves of parsley, and a couple tablespoons of oil. Process until you have a thick paste.
Now, take the fish fillets and season with salt and pepper,. Spread the paste over the top and press firmly for it to stick to the flesh. Place the fish in the refrigerator and let it rest for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, combine a couple tablespoons of oil with the rest of the garlic.
Cut four large sheets of parchment paper; they have to be long enough to cover the length of the fish. Fold each sheet in half lengthwise and spoon the garlic oil over them.
Put a few branches of parsley on each paper. Arrange the fillets over the parsley and drizzle with oil.
Fold the paper in half over the fish. You should fold the open ended part of the paper back over the top to make a pleat and then tuck the sides of the paper underneath. Make four tightly sealed packets.
Arrange the packets on a baking sheet and place in the oven at 450F. Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the fillets).
Take the packets out of the oven and place onto plates. Serve the fish inside the paper and open it in front of your guests.
(!): The steam that will be released when opening the packets will be an explosion of aromas, but be careful because it will also be very hot.
(?): Cartoccio is a classical Italian preparation for fish, seafood, vegetables, and pasta. In Central Italy it is made especially with freshwater fish; very tasty is the Cartoccio with the trout. This preparation is very good for fish with a lean flesh because the steam inside the packets will cook it gently and the flesh will be more juicy and digestible.
@: Before closing the packets, sprinkle the fish with ground hazelnuts.