Monday, April 16, 2012

Mushrooms en papillote

En papillote means “in parchment” in French. This method of cooking involves the food to be put into a parchment paper pouch and then baked. The moisture from the food steams the food and creates a sauce while baking. Of course you can add liquids to create more sauce as well as add flavor.

Most often fish and chicken are cooked using this technique, but I tried to cook everyday button mushrooms and they were delicious. I flavored them with some thinly sliced garlic, lemon rind, rosemary and chili flakes and baked them for 18 minutes in a hot oven. The mushrooms were succulent and the sauce was light, tangy and perfect for dipping bread.

Makes a perfect accompaniment to roast chicken or fish or as a light side to accompany a cheesy casserole.

Mushrooms en papillote
1lb medium sized button mushrooms, cut into quarters if large
2 tablespoons finely minced rosemary
4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt 
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
Zest of one large lemon
Juice of ½ lemon, plus a few wedges for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Divide the mushrooms into 4 equal portions and place each portion in a large piece of parchment - it should be at least 10 inches long - this will facilitate to make a pouch.
  3. Divide the garlic, rosemary, chili flakes, salt and lemon zest equally over the four portions of mushrooms. Add 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil to each of the portions and fold the parchment to make a pouch ensuring there are no gaps for the steam to escape. [If you do not have parchment, then aluminum foil will do as well.] Place the pouches on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet on the middle rack of a pre-heated oven. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and let it rest for a couple of minutes.
  4. Place the individual packets in shallow bowls to catch the juice. [Be careful while opening the packets since the steam is very hot.]
  5. Serve with crusty bread and a wedge of lemon on the side.
Serves 4

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