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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

En Papillote - - Cooking in paper

[pah-pee-YOHT, PAH-peh-loht]
1. The French word for a paper frill used to decorate the tips of rib bones, such as those on CROWN ROASTS. 2. En papillote refers to food baked inside a wrapping of greased PARCHMENT PAPER. As the food bakes and lets off steam, the parchment puffs up into a dome shape. At the table, the paper is slit and peeled back to reveal the food.

For a long time I heard about cooking en papillote: in paper. I’ve avoided it as it seemed to fussy and fancy for me. My dear friends, I am here to tell you this may be the most brilliant way to cook for the bariatric patient. The protein cooks tender and moist with limited amounts of fat. You can add vegetables or sauces to taste (or need). And best of all, clean-up is a breeze.

Here are two recipes from Cooking Light that I have tried and they turned out decadently delicious. Once you get the hang of en papillote you will be experimenting with your own food and flavor combinations. Enjoy!
One hint: I used regular paper clips to close the little paper packages and that seemed to work well.

Sesame Halibut en Papillote

En papillote refers to the method of baking food in parchment paper. Steam is trapped inside, and this keeps the food moist and flavorful. The impressive presentation belies this dish's simple preparation.

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups shredded bok choy
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon chile paste with garlic
4 (6-ounce) halibut or flounder fillets (about 1 inch thick)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

Preheat oven to 400°.
Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add bok choy and 1/4 teaspoon of salt; sauté 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat; stir in chile paste. Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
Cut 4 (15-inch) squares of parchment paper. Fold each square in half, and open each. Place 1/2 cup bok choy near fold; top with 1 fillet. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds. Fold papers; seal edges with narrow folds. Place the packets on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until paper is puffy and lightly browned. Place 1 packet on each of 4 plates, and cut open. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

CALORIES 233 (30% from fat); FAT 7.8g (satfat 1.1g, monofat 2.8g, polyfat 2.9g); PROTEIN 36.7g; CARBOHYDRATE 2.3g; FIBER 0.9g; CHOLESTEROL 54mg; IRON 2.1mg; SODIUM 459mg; CALCIUM 158mg;
Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2004

Orange Salmon en Papillote

1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 tablespoon thawed orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 garlic clove, minced
4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets (or 1 [1-pound] fillet, skinned and cut crosswise into 4 equal pieces)

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well. Combine chives and the next 3 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well. Cut 4 (13 x 13-inch) pieces of parchment paper or aluminum foil; trim each into a heart shape.
Arrange 1 piece of fish on half of each parchment heart. Top fish with 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture, and sprinkle with chive mixture.
Fold over other half of each parchment heart. Starting with the rounded edge, pleat and crimp edges together to make a seal; twist ends tightly to seal. Place on a large baking sheet.
Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until the parchment is puffed and lightly browned. Place on individual serving plates; cut open. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

CALORIES 149 (24% from fat); FAT 4g (satfat 0.7g, monofat 1.1g, polyfat 1.5g); PROTEIN 23.6g; CARBOHYDRATE 3.4g; FIBER 0.1g; CHOLESTEROL 59mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 88mg; CALCIUM 34mg;
Cooking Light, JANUARY 1995

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