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Trout en Papillote with Sweet Potatoes and Mushrooms

Trout en Papillote with Sweet Potatoes and Mushrooms

En papillote is usually a delicate parcel of protein, citrus, and bland watery vegetables. But my version is an homage to the darker, more robust flavors I remember from my childhood, trout fishing with my uncle and cousins in the Carolina mountains. Wild mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and thyme are toothsome accompaniments that stand up to the fatty lake fish. This is a great date-night meal, as you can prepare two parcels ahead of time and pop them in the oven when he or she arrives. Dinner is ready in 20 minutes, so you're freed up to pour wine, discuss their dowry, or stare awkwardly at your mutually opposable thumbs.

Parchment paper
2 whole brook trout, gutted and boned
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 (or so) sprigs fresh thyme
1 sweet potato, thinly sliced
2 ounces shiitake mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rub the trout, inside and out, with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place each fish on a large sheet of parchment paper and stuff with the potato slices. Strew everything with thyme, again inside and out. Then bring the long edges of the paper together and fold over to seal into a parcel. Twist the two ends and tie with kitchen string so your final product looks like a sweet. Roast for 20 minutes alongside the mushrooms, which need only to be dressed in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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