The Literate Chef

Posts Tagged ‘Parchment Paper’

She proposed and I disposed

In General Articles on July 5, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Grammy suggested fish for dinner. She was thinking of something light, and juicy! Maybe with tomatoes? And salty! Perhaps from olives and capers? And she proposed that it be served en papillote, wrapped in aluminum foil and baked in the oven.

Since it was incumbent upon me to dispose, I opted for parchment paper, instead of aluminum foil, as it would not be reactive to the taste. I agreed with juicy, and yes, from tomatoes; and of course salty, olives and capers would provide plenty of that.

The perfect fish? Something mild, yet substantial enough to stand up to all of that flavor. As luck would have it, our local fishmonger had Day Boat Halibut that morning. Yes, that would do. I’ll have one pound please, skin removed, if you don’t mind.

The supermarket provided the tomatoes and pimento-stuffed green olives. Our larder provided the capers, parchment paper, paprika and olive oil. Mission Accomplished!

Now to put it all together see Pan-Seared Halibut Elisabetta, En Papillote.

Pan-Seared Halibut Elisabetta, En Papillote

In Fish, Recipes on July 5, 2014 at 9:51 AM


Pan-Seared Halibut Elisabetta

Pan-Seared Halibut Elisabetta

(Preparation time 20 minutes, serves 2)


1 lb. Halibut, skin removed
Hot Hungarian Paprika
6 Campari Tomatoes, quartered
12 pimento-stuffed green olives, halved
4 tbsp. Capers, drained
1 tbsp. Olive oil
2 squares of Parchment Paper for serving en papillote



1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Thoroughly pat-dry the fish with paper toweling and divide in half.
3. Sprinkle each side with paprika.
4. Pre-heat cast iron skillet on high for 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Add olive oil to the pan and when shimmering, carefully place each piece of fish in the pan.

Pan-searing the Halibut

Pan-searing the Halibut

6. Pan-sear for 1 minute, turn and repeat. Remove seared fish pieces to the middle of each square of parchment paper.

7. Arrange tomatoes, olives and capers on each piece and wrap into packages.


Halibut en Papillote

Halibut en Papillote

8. Place packages on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 10 to 11 minutes.
9. Carefully remove the packages from the oven, place each on a plate and gently open and transfer the contents to the plates.
10. Serve immediately.

Please see: She proposed and I disposed

Discoveries at The Shore

In General Articles on October 14, 2012 at 10:37 AM

On a visit to friends in Cape May on The Jersey Shore last month, I learned something new about the use of Parchment Paper. I had used Parchment Paper before, and was familiar with its non-stick properties, as well as how it allows for an easy cleanup after baking. I also knew of its use in preparing dishes en papillote. However, I did not know that it also aids in the browning of vegetables. This new use was revealed to me by our friend Lenore in her beautiful new kitchen.

Later that week as we visited with other friends farther north on The Jersey Shore, in Spring Lake, Margie served an appetizer of marinated tomatoes, which she had purchased from a local gourmet shop. They were delicious and I began thinking about how they might have been prepared. They were plum tomatoes, obviously roasted, then marinated in oil and garlic with a little parsley and basil, and probably some salt.

All the way home, after this restful and enlightening visit with friends at The Shore, as it is known, I kept thinking about the marinated tomatoes and how I would execute their preparation. First I needed to buy the parchment paper and Mason Jars.  That task accomplished I stopped at the market for the ingredients. Not being sure how far they would cook down, I bought 3 lbs. of plum tomatoes. I found the answer soon enough, they cooked down to about 1 qt., even with all of the added ingredients. I also discovered that they need to marinate for a couple of weeks in order to reach their full flavor.

The versatility and flavor of these Marinated Roasted Tomatoes makes them well worth the wait. Their rapid disappearance, however, convinced me to double the recipe in the future.

Marinated Roasted Tomatoes

In Appetizers, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetables on October 14, 2012 at 10:35 AM


Roasted Tomatoes Marinating in a 1 quart Mason Jar

       (Makes about 1 quart: 15 minutes preparation, 1 hour roasting, 2 weeks marinating)

12 ripe plum tomatoes, about 3 lbs.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling and for marinating
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt, about 2 tsps.
1 small head of garlic, about 10 cloves sliced thin
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped

Special Needs: Parchment Paper and a 1 quart Mason Jar


1.    Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.    Slice off and discard the stem ends of the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes in half, lengthwise.
3.    Arrange the tomato halves on the parchment paper, skin side down and drizzle each lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle Sea Salt or Kosher Salt over each half.

Roasting the Tomatoes: Second Step-Skin side up

4.    Place baking sheet on top rack of the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
5.    Turn each tomato over and roast, skin side up, for an additional 30 minutes.
6.    Remove tomatoes and any liquid to a large bowl, add the garlic, and let cool.
7.    Add the basil and oregano, mix well, transfer to a 1 quart jar and cover with about ½ inch of olive oil, stir well. The olive oil will tend to disperse throughout the jar, so make sure there is always about ½ inch on the top.
8.    Cover tightly and let marinate at room temperature overnight, then refrigerate.
9.    Let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or more. Stir every few days, taking care to always leave about ½ inch of olive oil on the top, as a protective layer.

Serve at room temperature as an appetizer on Italian bread toasts,

Served as an appetizer on Italian Toasts

or serve at room temperature over spaghetti or angel hair pasta.

Marinated Roasted Tomatoes served over Pasta

Please see: Discoveries at The Shore

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