A simple foil packet gives us the moist texture and concentrated flavors of fish en papillote without the usual fussy preparation.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Cooking fish en papillote is a French technique where fish and a side are artfully folded into a parchment paper packet to steam together in the oven, concentrating and marrying their flavors. We found that aluminum foil was easier to work with than parchment. White fish fillets worked best; oilier fishes like salmon or tuna ended up greasy and overwhelmingly pungent. For a simple side, we liked quick-cooking couscous, and we dressed it up with a zesty chermoula sauce—a flavorful Moroccan condiment of cilantro, ginger, garlic, lemon, and spices. Try to purchase cod fillets that are similar in size so that they cook at the same rate. If the fillets are much thinner than 1 inch, simply fold them over to make them thicker. Halibut and haddock are good substitutes for the cod. For an accurate measurement of boiling water, bring a full kettle of water to a boil then measure out the desired amount. Click here for more information on making a foil packet.

You will need :

¼ cup minced fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Brown sugar

¾ cup couscous

1 cup boiling water

2 (6- to 8-ounce) skinless cod fillets, 1 to 1½ inches thick

Lemon wedges

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 3 tablespoons cilantro, oil, ginger, paprika, garlic, 1½ teaspoons lemon zest and juice, cumin, and pepper flakes in small bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.