We happened upon these pre-folded parchment bags at the grocery store a few months back and decided that it would be fun to make a dinner en papillote, or 'in paper.' They sat unused for a while until we resolved this week to begin focusing on a wider variety of healthy dishes at home. Although we love to cook, we too get stuck in the rut of yummy carb-and-bread comfort foods like mac n' cheese, pizza, and grilled cheese. It is dawning on us that these types of things are really not supposed to be enjoyed every meal of every day! So these little packets offered us a delicious new adventure and experiment.
This method of cooking is a fairly healthy one because it takes no fat to steam food, which is essentially what we're doing here. We have added a little olive oil to this recipe for flavor, but you could leave it out if you like. What happens in the bag is that the flavor inherent in each component melds with each of the other components to create a big and balanced result. One of the secrets is only cooking the pasta halfway. That gives it the ability to absorb the liquid from the mushrooms and the greens.
Sure, there was skepticism, but once our nostrils were inundated with the aroma of that delicious steam, we were both sold. This is something we'll make again for sure.
Portobello En Papillote
1 cup dry orzo pasta
4 medium portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
crushed red pepper (to taste)
2 cups fresh arugula
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
4 cloves garlic (smashed)
1 organic lemon (thinly sliced in to 8 pieces)
4 short sprigs rosemary
4 parchment paper bags or 4 large sheets of parchment to fold your own bag.
Cook pasta in boiling, salted water for only half of the recommended cooking time. Drain and set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Slice each mushroom, but keep the slices in order so the original shape of the mushroom cap remains unchanged. Place the 4 mushroom caps on a plate and drizzle each with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add salt, black pepper, and crashed red pepper to taste.
Now build each dish by placing 1/4 of the orzo in each bag followed by 1/4 of the greens, sun-dried tomato, 1 sliced mushroom cap, 1 crush clove of garlic, 2 lemon slices, and 1 sprig of rosemary. Fold the packet so it is tightly closed and cook for 30 minutes. (Serves 4.)
Great idea! I've been looking for things I can make ahead and this fits the bill. Now, if only I could get your nephew to eat mushrooms...
What a great idea! Thanks for sharing this cooking method. How do you get the meal out of the bag neatly?
All you do is cut the bag open with scissors. You eat right out of the bag using a fork. There is a great puff of delicious smelling steam as you cut the bag open. Traditionally this is done table side as a part of the presentation.
Looks very delicious. I get into that habit of pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches too, after a while my body starts to hate it. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Hi! I'm working on a round-up of en papillote recipes for The Huffington Post Taste and would love to feature your recipe. Please contact me if you're interested. Thanks!
Hi Julie! We will be in touch.
Amy and Justin
We made this a couple weeks ago and it was a hit. I used three very large mushrooms and wrapped it all as described but all three in one large paper envelope. It was fantastic.
Please let me know or post when your Huffington Post recipe comes out.
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