Fish parcels with new potatoes / Pesce al cartoccio con patate novelle


What did Trota expect when she instructed Fidget to put the ingredients for this recipe in baking paper and “make a parcel” with it? Well, in the cartoon kitchen you should never assume, and here’s the proof: Fidget turned up with all the ingredients, true – but beautifully wrapped up in brown paper, neatly tied and stamped, wax seals and all…

Fish parcels with new potatoes / Pesce al cartoccio con patate novelle

pesce al cartoccio

Beyond bewilderment – and having rescued the precious ingredients from a potential long-haul flight to who knows where – Trota delivered a refresher in how to cook ‘in a parcel’. Baking paper at hand (and Salmon taking instructions too), on each wrapper she spread a few slices of salad onion as the base, then placed a piece of fish (chunky cod or haddock are ideal) and topped with a couple of pomodorini cut in half, a few olives and some chunks of sundried tomato. She then drizzled olive oil, a splash of white wine and sprinkled some chopped flat-leaf parsley. The sliced onion ‘lifts’ the fish so that the juices can run underneath and keeps it intact.

With all the ingredients in, wrap your parcels up (no string needed, just scrunch to seal the edges), place them on a baking tray and cook at 200°/gas 6 for about 15min. Adjust the time to the size of your fish and number of parcels, but in principle it should be ready when the fish is opaque and flakes nicely (not easy to guess when it’s all wrapped up, we realise).

The Rowes think this delicate way of cooking fish pairs up really well with new potatoes (and they just happen to be in season). So, Salmon on pot watch, they boiled some mini new potatoes, skin and all (3 or 4 per person) in salted water for 15-20min until cooked, then sliced and tossed them in a bowl with olive oil, a splash of white wine vinegar and some chopped parsley. Lovely.

Wasn’t Fidget glad that his mistake was caught in time and this delightful delicacy stayed in the cartoon kitchen rather than ending up somewhere unexpected?  Indeed he was!