Wednesday, 29 June 2016

In the bag

Cooking things en papillote- in a paper or foil bag- is a delicious way to cook fish, vegetables and even fruit. The filling stays succulent as it cooks in its own steam and juices.

How much more delicious though to make your recipes en papillote- but in an edible bag?

If you use filo pastry or feuilles de brick - or wontons or spring roll wrappers- then you can do just that.

For Salmon en Papillote, lay your pastry circle (or rectangle) out in a baking tray and coat it liberally with melted butter or liquid Flora.

Lay on a tablespoon of softened leeks,

then a salmon fillet.
Add lemon, dill or parsley.
Seal up the parcel and brush with more melted butter.
Bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden.
Serve in its parcel, and allow your guests to slit it open to release the fragrant steam.
Salmon en Papillote

Use the same principle for vegetarian parcels- tomatoes, courgettes, leeks, mushrooms, asparagus all work well if thinly sliced and sauteed in a little butter or oil before wrapping.
You can add feta cheese or mozzarella if you like too. Just take a look at what you have in the fridge or veg drawer and draw up a combination that you like, wrap it in the buttered pastry and bake.
Vegetables en Papillote

I tried out the same idea using banana and chocolate for a sweet version- scrumptious!

Banana and Chocolate en Papillote
Although delicious, this is a little ugly at first glance. A prettier version would be to slice your fruit and wrap it up like a little money bag to make an Aumonier.

This photo came from the pastry wrapper- hence a little creased!

You can also make Pastillas- like these chicken ones:

1 onion
500g minced cooked chicken
100g of chopped almonds
1 tsp ras-el-hanout
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 circle or rectangle of filo/brick pastry per person

Soften the onion in oil and add the minced chicken and spices. Season with salt and pepper and then lay onto your pastry rectangle or circle and roll up, tucking in the ends like a wrap.
Brush well with melted butter or liquid Flora and bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes until crispy. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds and cinnamon.

Chicken Pastillas

Leftover pastry can be made into sweet or savoury samosas

or baked until crispy and layered with fruit to make mille feuilles.

You can even wrap some around an After Eight dinner mint and bake in the oven for an indulgent chocolate treat!
Chocolate Wontons

Well, it would be a shame to waste it, wouldn't it?