Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mr. Hawthorne Makes Lunch - Cod En Papillote.

 Mr. Hawthorne put on his big-boy pants
and went to Food Lion all by himself today.
I was so proud of him.
He came home with everything on the list ...
 ... plus cod.
He's making cod en papillote for lunch today.
That's cod wrapped in parchment paper.
It's a good cooking technique to know.
Cooking en papillote is a gentle, delicate cooking method,
perfect for fish.
The fish, along with vegetables,
is cooked by steam, swirling inside the package.

He stacked the filets on a half-moon of parchment paper
and added some baby carrots, sliced leeks, and red onions.
 Then he added a sprinkling of Old Bay
and a splash of Chardonnay
and crimped the parchment to seal.
 Bake at 350° for 22 minutes.
 It is traditional to open the package at the table,
in a show of erupting aromatic steam.

I gave mine a sprinkling of
freshly cracked pepper, some of my homemade sea salt.
 and torn fresh basil.

Lovely and harmoniously flavored.

When food is sealed in parchment,
it cooks in its own juices,
thus it's more flavorful than ordinary steaming.
All ingredients are surrounded by moist heat
so they cook quickly.
When the package is heated,
the air inside expands and the flavors of all the ingredients
are swept into it, swirling throughout the packet.
The food essentially is cooked with flavored air
and the ingredients form a sauce of their own essence.

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