In French, these dinners are called “en papillote” which means “in paper”, or more commonly, “cooking in a pouch”. Parchment-wrapped dinners can be a lifesaver for people who come home tired at the end of the day and have no energy to cook an entire meal. The beauty about these dinners is that they are hassle-free and extremely healthy. They help control your portions so that you don’t overeat, and it reduces the tendency of adding too much oil in your food. You can buy baking paper online and enjoy an effortless dinner.
There are many benefits to cooking with baking paper. Its silicone coating prevents the food from sticking to the surface of the paper and encourages an oil-free diet. Additionally, it helps avoid doing the dishes at the end of a tiring day because the clean-up is as simple as throwing a piece of paper into the trash. This is a blessing for every person who hates looking at a messy sink in their house. Be sure to buy baking paper online for oven/microwave purposes. Most importantly, parchment-wrapped dinners are extremely delicious. The food inside this non-stick baking sheet gets steamed, hence the meats and fish cook gently and have a soft texture. It seals in the flavours and juices and helps keep the ingredients moist.
Step One – Take a piece of baking paper and fold it in half. Cut it into a heart shape by using a pair of scissors. The heart should be large enough to hold your ingredients, with room around the edges.
Step Two – Place your ingredients and spices on one side of the heart and fold the open end of the paper over it so it covers all the ingredients.
Step Three – Start folding the edges of the baking paper to create a tight seal. You will need to start at the top of the heart and make small folds so that it keeps overlapping and sealing the previous one. This will create the seal. Now pop the meal into the microwave or oven for the given time, and enjoy your delicious dinner!
The Cooking Formula
All of these recipes follow a simple formula, and once you know that formula you can mix and match with different recipes. Even though dinner “en papillote” may sound complicated, the process is actually quite simple.
A Bed of Veggies + A Topping (meat/fish/ tofu/mushrooms) + A Creamy Sauce
And voila! That’s the formula.
To begin with, you have to layer the ingredients on one-half of the baking paper. Start with the bed of vegetables. You can mix any of your preferred vegetables that have a mild flavour to go with the dish. Next, choose your favorite topping. The most popular ones are salmon and chicken. Vegetarians can add an extra layer of veggies or tofu. After this, add the sauce. The sauce will add flavour and ensure that you are not just eating a bunch of boiled food. If you want your dish to be extra fancy, you can also place a garnish or an aromatic ingredient on the top, such as a layer of lemons, thinly sliced ginger, basil, and even spices.
The protein and vegetables will release water as they cook. Hence you can add a few extra liquids to balance out the flavour. Only a small amount is required, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of white wine, coconut milk, marinade, etc. This will help add more flavour to your dish. After this, you can happily seal your packet and enjoy the aroma of delicious food fill the air.
Lastly, open the packet gently so you do not disturb the hot liquids. Now relish your dinner straight out of the packet.
Once you have got this formula in place, you can mix and match with many ingredients, and the possibilities are endless. You can even add a layer of pre-cooked brown rice, noodles, etc. The most famous dish is Salmon en Papillote. Others include Greek Fish en Papillote, Mediterranean Chicken in Parchment, Shrimp and Noodles in Parchment, Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms with Brown Rice in Parchment, and Lemon Butter Chicken in Parchment, etc.
These dinners are oil-free, hassle-free, and mess-free, so make sure you try this dinner-in-a-bag cooking style for a relaxed and stress-free end to your day!