04:46:57 pm on March 5, 2007 |
A delicious, low-fat dinner with no pots, no pans and minimal cleanup?
It’s not wishful thinking. It’s a matter of using the technique known by the French as “en papillote,” or cooked in a paper wrapper.
Here’s how it works. Fresh food is cooked in tightly sealed, single-serving packets made from parchment paper (or foil, which is a bit easier to work with). The ingredients steam in their own juices, which intensifies natural flavors and ensures moist results.
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough use this technique in their book, “The Ultimate Cookbook” (William Morrow, 2007), to create low-fat, low-mess stir-fry chicken packets (a meal that otherwise can leave you and your stove greasy).
Weinstein and Scarbrough praise “en papillote” cooking for its healthy attributes. Not only is little or no fat needed but also vegetables that are steamed lose fewer nutrients than those cooked by other methods.
For this dish, chicken and a variety of vegetables are combined with an Asian-inspired sauce of garlic, ginger, soy sauce and rice vinegar. A small amount of toasted sesame oil helps to coat all the ingredients with flavor and adds that distinctive stir-fry taste. Asian red chile sauce gives the dish a spicy kick.Advertisements