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Tarragon Halibut In Parchment
2 halibut steaks 1" thick - (6 to 8 oz ea)
4 ounces mushrooms -- wiped clean,
2 sprigs fresh tarragon -- tops reserved,
and leaves finely chopped
(or 2 tspns dried tarragon)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste
2 tablespoons butter -- melted
1 medium zucchini -- sliced
Seafood Alternatives: cod, flounder
Rinse the halibut with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the mushrooms, chopped tarragon (or half the dried tarragon), lemon juice, salt and pepper; stir to coat the mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Fold a 15- by 13-inch piece of parchment paper in half crosswise to make a rectangle 13 inches by 7 1/2 inches. Draw a half-heart, beginning and ending at the folded edge, and cut along the line. Open the paper and brush one half with some of the melted butter, leaving a 1-inch border unbuttered. Repeat with another sheet of parchment.
Arrange the mushroom mixture over the buttered portion and set a halibut steak on each. Season the halibut with salt and pepper and arrange the zucchini slices, slightly overlapping, lengthwise along the center of the fish. Top with the reserved tarragon sprig tops (or sprinkle with the remaining dried tarragon).
Fold the other half of the paper over the fish. Beginning at the top of the heart (the wide end), make small overlapping folds in the paper at about 1-inch intervals, following the curve around to the base of the heart. At the tail end, make a slight twist in the paper to seal. Transfer the paper packages to a baking sheet. (The halibut can be prepared to this point up to 2 hours in advance and refrigerated.)
Bake the packages in the heated oven until puffed and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to warmed dinner plates and serve immediately. At the table, pinch the top of the package and rip open the paper, allowing the savory steam to escape before you begin.
This recipe yields 2 servings.
Comments: The sweet herbal flavor of tarragon is delicious with halibut and makes for a truly wonderful aroma when these paper packages are opened at the table.
"Simply Seafood (recipe archive) at http://www.simplyseafood.com"
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"03-29-2000 by Joe Comiskey - firstname.lastname@example.org"