Chef John Ash

Chef John Ash is a two-time James Beard award-winning author, teacher, and restaurateur. He co-hosts a weekly food and wine radio talk show, The Good Food Hour, broadcast in Sonoma County, and teaches cooking classes at various cooking schools, including the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California. His most recent book, Culinary Birds, won a James Beard Award for Best Single Subject Cookbook. He lives in Santa Rosa, California.


Wild Alaska Seafood Hobo Packs by Chef John Ash

4 (12-inch square) pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil
3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 (5 to 6 oz. each) Alaska whitefish fillets (cod, pollock, sole or rockfish), fresh or frozen
Salt and Fresh ground pepper, to taste
8 large, thin lemon slices
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced
12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 Tablespoons drained capers
3 Tablespoons roughly chopped basil or parsley (or a combination)

Heat a grill to medium-high or oven to 400°F. Lay the foil sheets out in a single layer and spray-coat with non-stick spray. Pat fish dry; sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Place a fillet in the center of each foil square. Slide one lemon slice under and another on top of each fillet. Arrange 2 thyme sprigs on top of each fillet.

Combine the garlic, tomatoes, capers and basil in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato mixture over fish. Bring foil sides up over fish, tenting it slightly and crimping edges together tightly to firmly seal. Cook in oven or ash-covered coals just until fish is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes (depending on thickness of fish).

To serve, carefully open each pack reserving juices, discarding thyme. Serve each whitefish and vegetables/juice over a bed of cooked pasta, rice or quinoa.