Chilean Sea Bass in Papillote

I mourn the passing of Gourmet Magazine if not daily, at least weakly!! In January, 2007, the magazine’s issue  featured Italian cooking and a 15 minute recipe caught my eye. It is quick and easy but showy.  A great “company” dish.  I use Chilean sea bass.  It is expensive, but definitely worth it.


  1. 1 ½  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 (6-oz) fillets Chilean sea bass
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 4 thin lemon slices
  6. 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  7. 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  8. 6 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  9. 2 teaspoons capers


  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with enough foil to extend a couple of inches on either end. Drizzle middle area where fillets will be placed with 1/2 tablespoon oil.
  2. Pat fish dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Arrange fillets, skin sides down, in 1 layer in center of foil on baking sheet and slide 2 lemon slices under each fillet. Arrange 2 thyme sprigs on top of each fillet.
  3. Heat remaining  tablespoon oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are softened, about 1 minute. Stir in capers.
  4. Spoon hot tomato mixture over fish, then bring the ends of the foil together tenting it slightly over fish.  Crimp edges together tightly to seal.

seabass in foil

  1. Bake until fish is just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes (depending on thickness of fish); check by removing from oven and carefully lifting up a corner of top sheet of foil, pulling up sides of bottom sheet to keep liquid from running out. If fish is not cooked through, reseal foil and continue to bake, checking every 3 minutes.
  2. Transfer fillets with lemon slices to plates using a spatula (be careful not to tear foil underneath) and spoon tomatoes and juices over top. Serve immediately, discarding thyme before eating.

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