Indulge in a culinary journey with our Baked Catfish en Papillote recipe, a dish that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also delights the senses with its elegant presentation and aromatic flavors. This classic French cooking method, known as “en papillote,” involves sealing the fish and accompanying vegetables and herbs in a parchment paper pouch before baking, allowing the flavors to intensify and meld together beautifully.

To create this masterpiece, start with two fresh Delta Pride Catfish fillets, renowned for their delicate flavor and firm texture. The fillets are paired with crisp celery and sweet carrots, adding a delightful crunch and vibrant color to the dish. A medley of fresh herbs, including thyme, dill, tarragon, and parsley, infuses the fish with fragrant notes, while a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of dry white wine and clam juice enhance the flavors further.

The process of preparing the parchment packets is a feast for the eyes and a testament to the artistry of cooking. Each fillet is carefully nestled on a bed of vegetables, drizzled with the wine and clam juice mixture, and topped with chopped tomatoes and the aromatic herbs. The parchment is then folded and sealed, creating a pouch that puffs up beautifully in the oven, releasing a tantalizing aroma that will have your guests’ mouths watering in anticipation.

As the papillotes bake, the flavors intensify, and the fish steams to perfection, resulting in a dish that is not only visually stunning but also incredibly flavorful and tender. The moment of unveiling, as each guest opens their parchment packet to reveal the succulent fish and fragrant vegetables inside, will surely be a highlight of any meal.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking to elevate your weeknight dinner routine, our Baked Catfish en Papillote recipe will impress. So gather your ingredients, unleash your inner chef, and prepare to delight in a culinary masterpiece that is as beautiful to behold as it is delicious to eat.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 Delta Pride Catfish fillets
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 3-inch pieces, then cut into long strips
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces, then cut into long strips
  • 2 large sheets baking parchment, or 2 parchment baking bags
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and then sliced
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons clam juice
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

How to prepare:

Preheat oven to 400° F. Bring small pot of water to boil. Add celery and carrots; cook 1 minute. Remove, and place in bowl under cold running water. Place on paper towel to dry.

Cut 2 large sheets of baking parchment into 20×20-inch squares; fold in half and lightly crease. Unfold the parchment and lightly brush one side of each sheet with olive oil. Divide celery, carrots, and onion evenly into small piles on one-half of each sheet. Place one fillet on top of each. Lightly fold up the edges of the parchment to create a small, bowl-like vessel.

Combine wine, lemon juice, and clam juice in a bowl. Drizzle each fillet with 3 tablespoons of the mixture, ensuring that it is contained in parchment. Place half of the chopped tomato over each fillet and sprinkle half of each fresh herb over the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Fold parchment over fillet and vegetables. Beginning at the creased corner, start folding edges over by ½ inch. Continue until the parchment is a series of tight, overlapping folds.

Place papillotes on a large baking sheet. Bake for 11 minutes or until bags are nicely puffed and slightly browned.