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How to Make a Parchment Packet

Cooking foods inside of a parchment packet ("en papillote") is easy enough for weeknight dinners, and impressive enough for dinner parties. Watch as parents contributor Jenna Helwig show us how to make a parchment packet.

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-There's a method of French Cooking called En Papillote. And basically, that's just a fancy way of saying cooking in parchment paper. And today, I'm going to show you how to do it. Start with a rectangle of parchment about this size. So start by folding the parchment in half. Make a nice crease and then we're gonna cut out a big heart. The reason we cut a heart is because it's easier to seal later than a rectangle. Make sure that the heart is big enough to hold all of your ingredients. Unfold the heart and you're going to put your ingredients on one side. So today, I'm gonna cook some salmon with Asian-style vegetables. Because salmon cooks pretty quickly, I've cut my vegetables into nice thin slices so it will all cook at about the same rate. You also wanna make sure that you don't stuff your packet full or else the ingredients won't cook properly. So I've got my salmon on one side then I'm gonna put just a few vegetables on top. En Papillote is also a very healthy way to cook because there isn't any added fat. Lovely. Okay, now we're going to seal it. So you take the heart and make it into half a heart. And you wanna start at the top and making pleats. So you make a crease, then make another fold and make a crease and really push down on that crease because you wanna keep all that nice steam inside the packet. And once you get to the bottom, just twist it. Now take a look at your packet. If you feel like there any places where steam might escape, just fold again like right here. So it's all set. So I'm going to put it on to a baking sheet and pop it into the oven. Once it's finished, I'll take it out to the table right in this packet on the plate. So my guest or my family can open it up there and smell the wonderful smell and see the beautiful colors of the vegetables and fish and be very impressed.