Valentine’s Creole Fish en Papillote

Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Yields: 2 Servings

This classic dish is perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner and can be prepared by even the most novice cook. The cooking method gives the fish a wonderful flavor and provides a very dramatic presentation. We’ve given the dish a Louisiana twist by cooking the fish in a rich Creole sauce with shrimp and crawfish.


  • 2 (8-ounce) tilapia fillets (other fish may be used, such as trout, redfish, drum, etc.)
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ pound (26-30 count) shrimp
  • 4 ounces Louisiana crawfish tails
  • 1 medium can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp each chopped basil, thyme or oregano (optional)
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a small saucepan, sauté onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and crawfish and continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and sugar. Stir in herbs if desired. You may use any combination of basil, thyme and oregano. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside. Cut 2 pieces of parchment or waxed paper into 12-inch squares. Fold in half and cut into a semi-circle so that when unfolded it is shaped like a heart. Brush entire paper with olive or vegetable oil. Season fish with salt and black pepper and place on one half of paper. Top each piece of fish with half the sauce, making sure each piece gets an equal amount of seafood. Fold paper over and starting at one end, make small folds overlapping each other, forming a completely sealed pouch. Brush outside of paper with oil and bake about 20 minutes or until paper is golden brown. Cut bag open right before serving, taking care not to burn anyone with steam.

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