Red Mullet in Papillotes à l’Italienne

Rougets en Papillotes à l’Italienne


If the mullets are large, take off the fillets, if small allow one fish to each person. Red mullet, sometimes called the ‘woodcock of the sea,’ should never be washed, but only wiped carefully with a clean piece of muslin or a napkin; cut off the fins with the scissors and remove the eyes, but leave the trail in. Slit the fish across from the belly to the back and sprinkle it lightly with a little pepper and salt, then soak in a little warm butter or good salad oil. They should stay in this seasoning for an hour or two before cooking. Prepare some paper for papillottes as follows: fold half a sheet of white foolscap paper in two, then cut from it a piece like a pocket, large enough to hold a fillet or a small mullet; double the edges firmly over each other except at the top, oil these pockets well outside, then pour about two tablespoonfuls of brown Italienne sauce into each case, slip in the fish, and then fasten up the top edges. Lay these cases on an oiled baking tin, and put this in a moderate oven, with a second paper over them. Let these cook for about fifteen minutes. When cooked dish the papillottes on a hot dish, garnish with a few sprigs of parsley, and serve very hot. If fillets are used instead of whole fish, lay some of the trail on each fillet. Fillets of sole and of salmon can also be served in this way.