Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
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April 21, 2014
Cooking in Parchment: Two Recipes

En papillote (ahn pah-pee-YOHT or ahn PAH-peh-loht) provides dinner theatrics: Diners are presented with packages torn open to a burst of fragrant steam, revealing a dish sauced in its own juices.

En papillote describes a cooking method in which foods are enveloped in parchment, then placed in a hot oven. The heated package puffs with steam, and the food cooks in the moist, circulating air. Its healthy nutrients can’t leach out, and little, if any, oil is needed.

The technique’s origins are obscure, but Jules Alciatore, of New Orleans’ legendary Antoine’s restaurant, reportedly created Pompano en Papillote to honor a Brazilian balloonist sometime in the late 1800s. And before the invention of baking parchment, nature provided the wrappers. Around the globe, cooks pluck wrappers from gardens. In Indonesia, fish is steamed in banana leaves, and in Mexico, tamales are cooked in cornhusks or avocado leaves.

Fish and vegetables are perfect candidates for cooking en papillote.

Vegetables Cooked in Parchment
Serve these steamy vegetables with hot, cooked rice or couscous, as a delicious side to steak or chicken.

2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1⁄4-inch rounds
2 summer squash, sliced into 1⁄4-inch rounds
3 medium plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and gently mix. Fold 4 (15-inch) square pieces of parchment paper in half; cut into heart shapes. Unfold and place vegetables on one side of each sheet next to fold. Fold and tightly seal the edges with narrow folds. Place packets on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Remove packets from oven and transfer to individual serving plates. Serve, letting guests open their own packets. Serves 4.

Per serving: 140 calories, 8g fat, 6g prot., 14g carbs., 4g fiber, 370mg sodium

Recipe by Dave DiResta and Joanne Foran

Pesto Shrimp with Couscous

1/3 cup hot reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup uncooked couscous
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup slivered onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Pour broth over couscous; cover and let stand 5 minutes. 3. Combine couscous, bell pepper, onion, oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; mix well. Fold 2 (15-inch) square pieces of parchment paper in half; cut into heart shapes. Unfold and place couscous mixture on one side of each sheet next to the fold. Arrange shrimp in a single layer over couscous mixture; top with pesto. Fold and tightly seal the edges with narrow folds. Place packets on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Remove packets from oven and transfer to individual serving plates. Serve, letting guests open their own packets. Serves 2.

Per serving: 420 calories, 16g fat, 175mg chol., 29g prot., 41g carbs., 3g fiber, 940mg sodium

Recipe by Dave DiResta and Joanne Foran

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