The Kitchen Prep: Spa-Dee-Da

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I like being pampered as much as the next {spoiled} girl. There's no denying it.

Unfortunately my budget and my pampering needs don't always see eye to eye. Sad but true fact.

For the past two years, I've treated myself to an incredible "Happy Birthday to Me" gift that covers several of the important areas that we girls require but don't often get to indulge in. "Me Time". Check. "Girlfriend & Gossip Time". Check. "Pampering and Primping". Check and check. "Revelling in Complete Luxury". BIG check.

One of my best girlfriends and I have made it point to keep our tradition of visiting The Spa at the Breakers in Palm Beach for two years running. It was by complete accident that this tradition began. Something to do with my husband, a golfing day, and a post-10 year reunion hangover. But I digress.

We had such an incredible time last year that I requested we do it all over again this year in preparation for my 30th birthday. My sweet, pregnant friend {who is so ridiculously busy with work & preparing for the arrival of her little one she hardly has time to breathe} kindly obliged and we spent a good part of our Saturday vegging around the opulent Breakers Spa facilities like an indigenous species returned to it's natural habitat. We were made for the royal treatment.

Ready for pampering.

Post-pampering lounging outdoors. It's a hard life.
After pedicures, hours of lounging in plush robes surrounded by gorgeous furnishings, delicious tea {and the most fabulous chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies I've ever eaten}, magazines, girl talk, and what could only be described as "celestial" music; after we tried just about every scent of lotion they had available for complimentary use; we pryed ourselves away from the rich surroundings and trudged back to reality {if you can call what you see below "reality".}


The lovely grounds of the Breakers.

This isn't a postcard. Amazing.
Alas... I shall return next year, Dear Spa. But until we meet again.... I'm treating myself to a "spa lunch" to remind me of the pampering that awaits me. Sigh....

This recipe for Fish en Papillote sounds fancy, but is really just the best way I've found to cook fish. {I am a perpetual fish over-cooker most of the time.} It is light, healthy, and can be flavored with your favorite herbs and placed on a bed of whichever veggies you prefer. Your fish gets it's own little wrap/steam room spa treatment as it cooks {lucky fish}!

1. Arrage your fish & veggies  2. Wrap it up in a pretty little parchment pouch. 3. Bake...

One of my favorite parts of this dish is getting to open up the parchment packet when it's done. It's like a present! And a tasty one at that. :) Enjoy!

Open pouch & enjoy!

Fish en Papillote on a Bed of Vegetables
Adapted from Food Network
  • 1/4 of an onion, sliced thin
  • 1 zucchini, julienned {shredded into shoestring pieces - use my handy Titan peeler.}
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 2 cod fillets {or other white fish}
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, divided
  • 2 pats butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine
1. Prehead oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a bowl, mix together the onion, zucchini, and carrot. Add the oil, season with salt, to taste, and toss to combine. Arrange the vegetables on a large square of parchment paper, dividing evenly.

3. Sprinkle each fillet with salt and thyme, to taste. Lay each fillet on top of the bed of veggies. Top the fish with 1 pat of butter,lemon slices and 1-2 tablespoons white wine. {If you are afraid of spilling the wine everywhere, wait until you crimp the packet almost completely, leave a little opening and pour the wine in at that step instead.} 

4. Fold the parchment paper around the edges tightly in 1/4-inch folds to create a half moon shape. Make sure you press as you crimp and fold to seal the packets well, otherwise the steam will escape. Arrange the packets on a baking sheet.

5. Bake until the fish is cooked through, about 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish fillets. To serve, cut open the packets and serve directly in the parchment on a plate {but be careful... hot steam!} or remove the fish to the plate using a spatula, being sure you don't leave the juices behind.


Trina said...

oh so delightful :)

E said...

Great post ;)

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