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Striped-Maple-Wrapped Fish

This recipe takes the idea of cedar-plank-cooked fish a step further, using cedar branches and maple leaves to impart a great smoky, woodsy flavor. Grape leaves can be used in place of the maple leaves.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • servings: 4

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Ingredients

  • 1 bunch cedar branches, such as eastern white, mostly greenery, plus very thin strips cedar bark
  • 8 to 12 unsprayed striped maple leaves, stems removed
  • 8 thin lemon slices
  • 4 halibut or other firm whitefish fillets (4 ounces each; 1 1/4 inches thick)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Soak cedar branches and bark in water (weighted with something heavy to keep submerged) for 1 hour.

  2. Step 2

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange 2 or 3 maple leaves on a work surface, overlapping slightly. Top with 2 lemon slices and 1 fish fillet. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap leaves around fish to enclose, and secure with a "string" of cedar bark. (You can also use kitchen twine.) Repeat with remaining leaves, lemon slices, fish fillets, and cedar bark.

  3. Step 3

    Fill the bottom of a large cast-iron skillet with drained cedar branches. Heat over high heat until fragrant and just starting to smoke, about 3 minutes. Arrange fish packets on top of cedar branches, and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven, and cook until fish is firm and the tip of a paring knife inserted into the center comes out hot, about 12 minutes. Serve immediately.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, August 2011

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