I still remember the first time I tasted a fish dish wrapped in a bag -“en papillote”. The server cut the bag open and in doing so, released an incredible aroma of salmon and herbs. It seemed, at the time, to be a very complex preparation. Little did I know just how simple it really was.
Fast forward a decade or two, and parchment has become a regular tool in my kitchen. It’s not only useful for creating these flavourful packets of food but also for non-stick healthy food prep and for keeping clean up to a minimum. But lining baking sheets and creating food packets is just a small part of parchment’s versatile uses. You can even use it to line a frying pan to prevent burning and scorching of dishes like eggs.
A Canadian company, PaperChef, is taking parchment even further. They’ve come out with a whole line of parchment products for the home cook: Cooking Bags, Baking Cups, Lotus Cups (fancy baking cups) and Parchment Paper.
Here’s a sampling:
South Asian Masala Cauliflower
This South Asian dish was created by chef Joshna Maharaj for PaperChef , using the Culinary Parchment Multipurpose Paper. Roasted and caramelized cauliflower, prepared with an aromatic blend of traditional Indian spices will provide another vegetable centerpiece for a harvest meal. Cooked on a baking sheet lined with, this golden spiced beauty is a lively mouthwatering delight.
A note: I have decreased the amount of salt from the original recipe.
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1” (2.5 cm) slices
4 tablespoons (50 mL) vegetable oil
2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground cumin
2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground coriander
1 teaspoon (5mL) ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) cayenne, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Place cauliflower in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with vegetable oil.
In a small bowl, combine cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne and stir to combine. Sprinkle the spice mixture over cauliflower and use your hands to gently toss, making sure to coat each piece with the oil and spices.
Arrange cauliflower in an even layer on each baking sheet and season with salt.
Roast for 25-35 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender and the edges are nicely browned.
Nutrition information per serving
• Calories: 137
• Protein: 1 gram
• Fat: 13 grams
• Saturated fat: 3 grams
• Carbohydrate: 4 grams
• Dietary fibre: 2 grams
• Sodium: 311 milligrams