Fudgy brownies with fresh raspberries are a decadent end to a summery meal. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

The first time I ever dined on fish wrapped in parchment was at The Dutch Treat, a sweet little restaurant in Franconia, New Hampshire. I loved the simplicity, I loved the elegance and I loved the full-out fresh flavor of a simple fillet of fish. The fillet of the day was cod, but since that time, I have roasted salmon, hake, haddock, swordfish, tuna and halibut in this manner.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundys Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected]

I have also tucked other small jewels of flavor into the fish packets besides the ones in the recipe shown here. Butter, thin slices of onion, tomatoes or oranges; and fresh herbs such as dill, rosemary and thyme are all ingredients that can make a plain piece of fish sublime.

Whatever you decide to tuck in with the fish you cook, go easy on the amount as a little goes a long way. You don’t want to overpower the taste of your delicacy from the sea.

For a go-along with this fish entrée, try dolling up a simple salad with a dressing that will wow you. Blue cheese can be substituted for the gorgonzola, and remember, just a little dab will do ya.

I like using a wide, shallow wooden bowl for tossing salads such as this. Refrain from overfilling to allow for plenty of room for the lettuce and other vegetables to be thoroughly bathed in the flavorful dressing.

Lastly, I bake up this small batch of decadent brownies when I’m in dire need of a chocolate fix, but don’t want any temptations left behind after indulging. Dense and delicious, this dessert really hits the spot. Of course, double the recipe if you so desire, but these brownies are totally irresistible, so beware!

Pesce alla San Nicola

4 fish steaks or fillets
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
4 teaspoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
4 sprigs fresh oregano
12 pitted black olives
2 large garlic cloves, slivered
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 large lemons, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees or use your grill (indirect heat). Place fish fillets on a large square of parchment paper or foil. Top each fillet with 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 oregano sprig, 3 olives, a few slivers of garlic, 2 lemon slices and lemon juice.

Wrap each portion in parchment or foil. Place each packet on a baking sheet and place into the oven (or on the grill and cover). Bake for 20 minutes or until the fish is flaky. Yield: 4 servings

Romaine & Gorgonzola Salad

2 heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Place all ingredients in a salad bowl. Toss with dressing when ready to serve. Yield: 4 servings

Dressing

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup walnut oil
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Gorgonzola
Freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. Yield: 1 cup

Small Batch Raspberry Brownies

5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
Fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and be sure oven rack is in lower third of oven. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper in both directions with the paper hanging over the sides a bit to use as handles to lift the brownies out of the pan once they’re baked.

Place butter, sugar and cocoa in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir then return to microwave for 30 seconds more. (You can also melt these ingredients together over low heat in a small saucepan on the stovetop.) Stir until ingredients are combined and butter is melted.

Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. When mixture is still warm, stir in vanilla and almond extracts and salt. Stir in the egg then the flour. Vigorously beat for 50 strokes with a wooden spoon.

Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle about 8-10 raspberries over the top of the batter and press into the batter with your fingers.

Bake for 25 minutes until the top feels dry. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Yield: 4 brownies

Glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons pureed raspberries or raspberry jam

Whisk together ingredients in a small bowl then pour over brownies before serving.

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