How To Use A PaperChef Parchment Bag
Parchment Cooking Bags
While this author has always loved cooking with parchment paper, I recently discovered these great parchment cooking bags by PaperChef at the supermarket.
I have to say that they have added a new dimension to my cooking with parchment paper. I usually use parchment to line cookie sheets and even baking pans as it's a great way to cut down on using oils and sprays.
Parchment paper also makes for quick cleanup. It's also efficient--if I'm making several batches of cookies, I just reuse the paper until I'm done with all the batches.
Keep in mind that the price was not prohibitive either. I figure that these bags end up costing about 25-30 cents per bag--and what a time saver.
I think these cooking bags are just an incredibly unique way to make food packages for all kinds of things--without all the muss and fuss of making your own envelopes for foods.
Why Cook in Parchment?
As I mentioned above, cooking on parchment paper is a great way to save on calories and cut down on messes, sticking to the pans, etc.
But why cook inside parchment envelopes or bags?
- It seals in the flavors of whatever you put into the package
- You can cook several foods together in one unit
- It forms its own sauce when the food is cooking
- Foods cooked in parchment don't usually overcook
- Meats and fish retain their original shape better
- Presentation with en papillote cooking is always a hit
- It's one of the easiest cleanups around
- Many people swear by this method as the only way to cook fish
Things You Can Cook with Parchment Bags
This author tried out the parchment bags last night with some salmon fillets. It took me all of 15 minutes to prepare and then 15 minutes to cook.
The fish was done to perfection as you can see and was absolutely mouthwateringly tender and moist.
There was no cutting out parchment paper shapes or making pockets or packages with the ingredients.
It was as simple as open the bag, put in the vegetables. Reopen the bag, put in the fish. Place the lemon sauce on top with a basil leaf and roll the bag closed. I placed the cookie sheet with 2 parchment bags in the 400 degree oven and baked for 12-15 minutes.
I opened the bag 5 minutes later and voila--4 perfect servings of salmon with vegetables and onions. All I had to do was pour the wine and serve the salad and brown rice pilaf!
Whereas fish is usually the most popular dish made in parchment, there are lots of other ways that you can cook using these fabulous bags.
You'll also notice that they are fairly good sized so I got 2 servings in just 1 bag!
Some starter ideas for parchment cooking bags:
- Apple cinnamon dessert with cognac
- Cajun chicken with peppers
- Parmesan popcorn (microwave)
- Chocolate popcorn (microwave)
- Herbed mustard chicken
- Trout or turbot fillets
- Halibut and vegetables
- Mediterranean vegetable medley
- Rack of lamb
- Flank steak with vegetables
- Stuffed turkey rolls with pine nuts
- Quail and apples
- Baked apples
- Poached fish and vegetables
- Pork chops with apples and onions
- You can also cook on the grill with parchment bags
Basically just about anything you can cook en papillote or even in foil will work cooked in these bags.
Try Cooking with Parchment Bags
If you haven't tried one of these great little parchment bags, check them out. They make cleanup a snap and keep your food moist and tender inside the confines of the self-contained baking chamber.
They are relatively inexpensive and definitely worth it from the standpoint of not having to cut out parchment paper shapes and fold it, make sure it's sealed properly, etc.
You'll still get the great presentation of browned parchment paper when it comes out of the oven when you cut into it to reveal your perfectly cooked food--but without all the hassle.
Try it on some of your favorite recipes and see what you can create using parchment bags. You'd be surprised how fun this cooking "gadget" is. I'm looking forward to creating many recipes down the road with these neat little guys.
For more ideas and recipes, check out the Paper Chef website. There are also lots of other parchment paper products like muffin cups to explore.