Without question, one of my all time faves when I go to the Beacon is the halibut cooked in parchment. Known, as ‘Paper Fish,’ this has been one of their bestsellers for years. It’s light, delicious, and just looks fancy. Perfect for entertaining. I asked one of the owners, David, for the recipe, so I could share it with you.
“Through the years, we’ve changed some of the ingredients around, but our clientele has told us not to change their paper fish!”
Beacon co-owner, David Loewenberg
4 7oz. portions of fresh halibut filet
2 cups Israeli couscous
½ cup sundried tomatoes
1 cup fresh orange juice
½ cup chopped onion
1 tbsp fresh garlic
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
4 slices of lime
4 slices of tomato
4 cups tatsoi (can sub with baby spinach)
4 pieces fresh thyme sprigs
salt & pepper to taste
4 cups water or vegetable stock
4 pieces of parchment paper
1 tbsp ground cumin
½ cups white wine
4 tbsp butter
Place the sundried tomatoes in the stock & orange juice…add Kosher salt & bring to boil for 3 minutes.Take tomatoes out of stock. When cooled slice into strips. In a sauce pan sauté onions & garlic for 4 minutes, until translucent. Then add basil, couscous, cumin, pinch of salt & black pepper. Saute for 2 minutes, then add stock & sliced sundried tomatoes. Cook for 5 min till it reaches a boil. Turn off heat and cover for 5 minutes. Couscous should have incorporated all of the stock & is now “al Dente” Put couscous on a sheet pan & cool in refrigerator.
To Assemble Your Paper Fish:
Start with a square of parchment paper. Place in the middle of your paper 1 ½ cup couscous mixture, a small handful of tatsoi, halibut filet, season the fish w/ salt & pepper, place a slice of lime, tomato, 1 tbsp. Butter, sprig of thyme & splash 1 oz. of white wine. Fold Parchment paper over your halibut & couscous, then fold sides together as if you were making an empanada. Place fish on a sheet tray & bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes to till done. Tear open top of parchment (paper will color w/ cooking) & drizzle w/ olive oil, or lemon oil. Serve in the parchment.
“The paper fish has been an anchor on Beacon’s menu since we opened. Out of necessity, we had to learn how to develop an in depth menu that worked with our small kitchen. Fish cooked in parchment requires sourcing great product, combining great flavors and a hot oven for pick up. We quickly learned which fish cooked the best with this technique. The couscous has great flavor, the halibut stays firm but moist and steaming the fish in parchment delivers a simple, clean dish. This is a great entree to serve for a dinner party in that all the prep is done before the guests arrive. Simply pop in the oven & serve!”
The word. Thanks be to Beacon.