Siskiyou Cooks + Chefs: The many wonderful ways to use parchment paper
I always have a roll or two of parchment paper, or as Jaime Oliver calls it, greaseproof paper. Parchment paper comes in bleached/white and unbleached/brown. I prefer the brown because the bleaching process may be less safe for the environment and there are websites stating that bleached parchment paper possibly leeches dioxin when heated. There is no right or wrong side of the paper.
Martha Stewart said that aluminum foil should never touch your food. I believe her, so I always wrap any food with parchment paper then foil. At Thanksgiving I line the roasting pan with foil then with paper and just lay a sheet of parchment over turkey then cover with foil.
The paper makes cleaning up easy and the paper can be composted or added to your worm box. Use parchment paper to line your sheet pan when roasting everything from vegetables to baking cookies. Use two strips of parchment when baking zucchini breads and meatloaf. Cut to length one strip for the width and one for the length of your loaf pan.
Recipe for fish en papillote, or fish in parchment paper
Fish en papillote is a fancy presentation that is so simple and can be made ahead of time. Parchment paper pouches are a fun and easy way to cook fish and vegetables.
Cut a square of parchment paper and place fish with vegetables on one half of the paper. Use whatever vegetables you like in any combination that appeals to you or are in season. This time I used Ahi Ahi tuna, scallions, spinach, tomato and patty pan squash topped with some fresh ground pepper, chimichurri and lemon slices.
Fold the parchment paper over the foods, then cinch the paper together by folding it over itself along the edges. Begin and one end continuing until it is sealed. This is when you find out if you have overstuffed the pouch. I have been known to do this. Simply remove some food so you can seal the edges.
Cook at 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Be careful when you open with scissors as the steam could be hot. Serve the fish en papillote on a plate with a salad and rice or couscous. You can reuse the paper that lined the sheet pan if your pouches didn’t leak. To make this with chicken, cook for 25-30 minutes.
Lauri Sturdivant is interested in how our friends and families gather around a table sharing meals and telling stories. In this column she shares recipes and stories from people in Siskiyou County, and restaurant reviews from her travels. Read full interviews, find recipes and reviews at TheBillPlate.com.