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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Morrison

Scratch cooking and entertaining from Martie Duncan

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

Including Duncan's Fish in Parchment with a Citrus Reduction recipe


I met a new foodie friend at Metro Cooking Houston by the name of Martie Duncan. This lady’s inspirational and practical approach to entertaining from the kitchen got her all the way to the finals of The Next Food Network Star Season 8. Duncan, of “Martie Knows Parties”, is a passionate Southern gal who has been spreading her entertaining ideas and simple crowd-pleasing recipes across the country ever since her national debut. Duncan believes in more scratch cooking. “We are gonna lose so much if we don’t reintroduce it and hold onto it. Old school cooking eliminates the processed food that makes our bodies hold onto stuff that it’s not supposed to.” Duncan goes through the steps to create fresh-made dishes just like her mom and grandma did. “Mother made a pie or cobbler every day of her life. Mother called it ‘back door baking’.”

Duncan is out to dispel the perceived notion that prepackaged is easier. Duncan bakes fish in parchment paper and uses seasonal ingredients. “If I would have known that it was this easy to make fish from scratch, I would have fired Mrs. Paul years ago. The lowly one dollar watermelon that is the side note to a picnic can become pickled rinds, grilled watermelon, watermelon, and tomato salad, or puree it for drinks.” Fresh cooking is easy.

Duncan had a great time with a warm Texas reception at the Metro Cooking Houston. Duncan wants to show the little things that help people think “I got this”. Duncan adds “I’m just like you, not trained or a professional. If I can do it, you can do it.”

Fish in Parchment with a Citrus Reduction By Martie Duncan 2 large lemons 2 large limes 6 fish fillets or steaks 1 tbsp. olive oil Salt and pepper 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar 1 tsp. honey 2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley 3 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven to 425. Zest one lemon and set aside the zest. Juice the lemon and one lime. Slice the remaining lemon and lime into thin slices. Place half the lemon and lime slices on the bottom of 6 squares of parchment paper to help prevent the bottom of the fish from overcooking. Place fish fillets on top of lemon and lime slices. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper, and 1 tbsp. lemon and lime juices. Drizzle the mixture over the fish. Tightly fold the parchment paper into 6 individual packets making sure they are sealed well. Put packages on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.

To make the citrus reduction, put remaining citrus juices in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the juices by half. Add sherry vinegar, honey, and 1 tsp. salt. Remove from heat.

Place each packet on a rimmed plate. Carefully tear or cut open packets. Drizzle the citrus reduction over each fillet and garnish with parsley, garlic, and reserved lemon zest.



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