Cooking En Papillote

The classic technique of cooking en papillote is achieved by wrapping tender foods including fish, shellfish or poultry, in a folded pouch of parchment paper with vegetables, herbs and spices. Although cooked in an oven this is a moist-heat method because the paper seals in hot vapors and steams the food. Similar results can be achieved through the use of grape or banana leaves, corn husks, salt crusts, pastry, or foil. By wrapping in leaves the technique can be adapted for grilling or steaming in a chamber.

Start with tender cuts of poultry, fish, or shellfish. Since the method is a quick-cooking technique, use tender vegetables including mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini, or blanched items including carrots, celery, and peppers. Vegetables should be sliced thin, diced small, or cut into fine julienne. Aromatics, including minced shallots, scallions, garlic, or ginger, and fresh or dried herbs accent the preparation. Flavor enhancements include white wine, soy sauce, or citrus juices. The final presentation should include a prepared sauce. Because this is a blind cooking method overcooking can be a problem. Recipe test your dish for temperature and time to achieve the desired outcome.

Best Choice for En Papillote: Tender cuts of fish, shellfish, and poultry

Accompaniments: Beurre blanc sauce, hollandaise, béarnaise sauce

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