Passion Project: Lemon-Parmesan Cod “En Papillote” with Braised Leeks




I grew up eating a lot of cod. It’s a house favorite, or at least one of my parents’ favorites. It didn’t use to be one of mine at all though. As a matter of fact, I really didn’t like it for a long time. Cod is a very lean kind of white fish and it can honestly be quite bland in taste. At home, we typically have it with some side of steamed greens (as if the fish wasn’t healthy enough on its own). Now I do love a good side of veggies, but let’s just say that this didn’t help me appreciate the fish any more. Yeah… definitely not one of my favorites. At least not until this recipe came along!

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To this day, I’m still unsure why the rest of my family thinks cod is any good that way. I understand the healthy aspect of it, and the benefits of a light meal, but cod can be so incredibly delicious when prepared differently! All you need to do, is add a bit of flavor to it through the cooking process. I knew I needed to come up with a recipe to prepare cod differently then. If I’m bound to eat it at home, it might as well taste great! Just like this lemon-parmesan baked cod with braised leeks!


The recipe for the Lemon-Parmesan marinade is actually one I typically use as a dressing. I thought it would taste great with that kind of fish. Since cod doesn’t have a strong flavor on its own, it really benefits from the kick added by the lemon and Cayenne pepper. The parmesan is also a great thing to add. It really adds a subtle richness to the dish. This marinade is also very pretty. The Cayenne pepper adds a beautiful orange hue to the white flesh, which makes anything more appetizing!


Finally I cooked this filet “en papillote”, which means “in a pouch”. This technique acts like steaming. When you place the packet in the oven, vapor will form in the sealed pouch, and cook the fish all the way through. Add aromatics to the packet, and their flavors will infuse the fish through the steam. This is a great way to boost the cod’s flavor! The side came together as I was thinking of veggies that would go well with the aromatics I added to the fish. Braised leeks are delicious with a squeeze of lemon juice, so I went with that. They also add caramelized richness to the dish, which goes well with cod. Nothing like your steamed green beans… Bon appétit!



Total time: 20 minutes


  • 1 Icelandic cod filet
  • 1 medium leek
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 green onions
  • 3-4 thyme sprigs
  • olive oil
  • sea salt & ground black pepper
  • some fresh parsley

Ingredients for the Lemon-Parmesan Marinade:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of lemon pepper
  • a pinch of Cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F, and bring salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the marinade. Whisk together the grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt, lemon pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
  3. Trim the leek on both ends, cut it in two and halve it lengthwise. Rinse it under cold water to get rid of any remaining dirt. Then, boil it for 4 minutes, and drain it. Keep the pot.
  4. Next, make the “papillotte” for the cod. Slice 1/2 lemon thinly, and chop the green onion into large chunks. Pile them on one half of a large piece of aluminum foil, and top with the fish. Coat it with the marinade, and sprinkle with fresh thyme. Close the pouch, by folding the other half of the foil over the fish, and tucking the edges over all around.
  5. Place the packet on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 14-16 minutes (a thick filet).
  6. While the fish cooks, heat some olive oil in the previous pot. Add the drained leeks back in, season with salt and pepper, and let them brown on medium-high heat. If they dry out, add a drizzle of water and let it evaporate (repeat as necessary).
  7. Serve the fish on top of the braised leeks, with the cooked lemon slices. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and black pepper. Enjoy!


Cabillaud Citron-Parmesan “En Papillote” sur Poireaux Braisés


Temps Total: 20 minutes


  • 1 filet de cabillaud
  • 1 poireau
  • 1/2 citron
  • 2 oignons verts
  • 3-4 brins de thym frais
  • huile d’olive
  • sel de mer et poivre noir
  • du persil frais

Ingrédients pour la Marinade Citron-Parmesan:

  • 1 1/2 c.s de Parmesan râpé
  • 1 1/2 c.s de jus de citron pressé
  • 2 c.s d’huile d’olive
  • une pincée de sel
  • une pincée de poivre noir
  • une pincée de piment de Cayenne


  1. Préchauffez votre four à 230°C, et faites bouillir de l’eau salée dans une casserole.
  2. Pendant ce temps, préparez la marinade. Fouettez le parmesan, jus de citron et l’huile d’olive dans un petit bol. Goutez et assaisonnez de sel, poivre et piment.
  3. Coupez le poireau des deux côtés, et tranchez le en deux dans le sens de la longueur et la largeur. Rincez le sous l’eau froide pour enlever toute la terre qui pourrait être coincée entre les différentes couches. Puis, faites-le bouillir pendant 4 minutes, égouttez-le et mettez-le de côté. Gardez la casserole.
  4. Ensuite, préparez la “papillote” pour le poisson. tranchez 1/2 citron en fines rondelles, et coupez l’oignon en trois morceaux. Empilez-les sur la moitié d’une feuille de papier d’aluminium et ajoutez le poisson par dessus. Recouvrez alors le tout avec la marinade, et garnissez de thym frais. Fermez la papillote et rabattant la deuxième moitié du papier sur la première, et en pliant bien les bords tout autour du poisson.
  5. Placez le paquet sur une plaque de cuisson et enfournez le pour 14-16 minutes (filet épais).
  6. Pendant que le poisson cuit, faites chauffer de l’huile dans la casserole. Ajoutez les poireaux égouttés avec du sel et du poivre, et laissez les brunir à feu moyen-fort. Si ils accrochent, ajoutez un filet d’eau et laissez le s’évaporer.
  7. Servez le poisson sur un lit de poireaux et avec les tranches de citron cuites. Garnissez de persil frais et de poivre noir. Bon appétit!

2 thoughts on “Passion Project: Lemon-Parmesan Cod “En Papillote” with Braised Leeks

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