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Fish in Papillote
6 boneless trout fillets (6-8 oz. each)
dry white wine
¼ lb. butter or margarine
½ lb. mushrooms, sliced
⅓ cup finely chopped shallots
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whipping cream
¼ lb. each small cooked shrimp and shredded crabmeat
Poaching liquid: combine 1 quart water; 1 large onion, sliced; 6 whole black peppers; 2 whole allspice; 1 bay leaf; 1 teaspoon salt; and ½ cup dry white wine. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Strain; discard onion and spices.
6 pieces parchment paper (each about 15x15 inches)
Pour poaching liquid into a wide frying pan and bring to a simmer. Add fish fillets in a single, uncrowded layer. Liquid should barely cover fish; add equal parts water and wine to pan if needed. Simmer, covered, until fish feels firm and is almost done, about 5-6 minutes for ¾” thick fillets. Lift fillets from the liquid, set aside. Boil liquid, uncovered, until reduced to 2½ cups, set aside.
Melt 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat; add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned. Remove mushrooms, reduce heat to low and add 4 more Tbsp. butter to pan; add shallots and cook, stirring, until soft. Add flour and stir until bubbly; do not brown. Remove from heat and gradually stir in reserved poaching liquid. Cook, stirring, until thickened; stir in cream and mushrooms. Let cool.
Fold each piece of parchment paper in half and cut into a heart shape about 11” long and 14” wide.
Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter. To assemble entrée, open each paper heart and lightly brush with butter. Place a fillet lengthwise alongside the center crease of each heart. Top with shrimp/crab mixture and finally with sauce. Fold the heart over & crimp the edges together. Place on cookie sheet. Brush tops of heart lightly with melted butter. Cool and chill if made ahead. Bake, uncovered, in a 450° oven until paper lightly browns, 7-10 minutes. If chilled bake in a 400° oven about 20 minutes.
To serve, cut a cross in the top of each packet to release steam.
©Sally Bernstein, 2006