Author Notes: Basic and brilliant way to cook fish. The "License to Grill" cookbook folks (Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby) call this a "hobo pack" and others refer to this method as "baking in a packet," but in essence, you use foil to create a vessel to cook fish. This is my brother John's recipe. He is the best cook in my family. He has an incredibly well-developed sense of taste and smell and intuitively knows what combinations of food work well together. Whenever I am planning a menu, I usually call John to make sure he approves or to help me figure out something that is missing or a way to improve the meal. Hats off to you, bro! —DjeenDjeen
pounds fish (I usually use cod but any fish will do)
teaspoons olive oil
lemons sliced thin
handfuls cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half
cup fresh basil (or any other fresh herb; fennel fronds, mint, shiso)
sale and pepper to taste
cloves garlic, pressed*
- Cut fish into 1/2 lb portions.
- Tear off 4 large sheets of aluminum foil.
- Pour 1/2t olive oil on each sheet of foil
- Place one portion of fish on each piece of foil
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Lay down a layer of lemon slices over each portion of fish. Next place a handful of tomatoes on top. Then add basil or whatever herb you are using.
- Add some pressed garlic (optional) * when I have more time, I sauté some chopped garlic in olive oil and use this flavored oil as the first layer on the foil
- Close up foil into a sweet and tight little pouch. I take both horizontal ends, match them up and join them together and roll them down, then take the right and left ends and crimp them and hook them into the middle, like the swooped end of an elf's shoe but on each side.
- Cook in preheated oven at 450 degrees or better yet, in summer, place on a hot grill. I really don't know how long this takes. I usually wait about 15 minutes or take them out when I smell that they are done. Because they are basically steaming in their own juices, it is difficult to overcook the fish.
- Open carefully. Serve with rice or any grain.