At the beginning, I loved it because of its name. And when I discovered exactly the procedure... I felt in love again: It's a fast method, easy to do and it has organoleptic and nutritional qualities!
First of all, I want to explain you how to use the technique. As I said, it's easy to apply. Basically, you will wrap all the ingredients in aluminum foil and you will cook them in the oven for 15-30 minutes, approximately, 180º C (356ºF).
Solution: you can cut them in different dimensions according to their tempos (this is culinary wisdom ;)... or you can sauté or blanch the ingredient which need more cooking time, before to start Al Papillote, and before to mix all together. For example, you should sauté or blanch the meat before to use in this technique with other ingredients.
I prefer this technique to cook vegetables with fish, but it's up to you to cook meat.
- Al Papillote allows keeping more food nutrients than if you boil them. When you boil ingredients, their nutrients keep in the water so if you don't eat this water, you “lose” them. But in Al papillote technique you'll keep them because you'll wrap the ingredients all together and you'll eat the mix (liquid and solid food).
- You don't need to use a lot of oil. We know olive oil is good for our health but still... as always "a little bit of all".
When the technique appeared it was usual to use melt butter!!
It's a fast method to cook, in half hour, approximately, you can start to eat. Besides, it is so cute, the "mini-bag" you created when you wrapped the ingredients in aluminum foil!
It is delicious to cook fish salted with aromatic herbs, like thyme (love it!), nutmeg or black pepper. It is also delicious if you first "immerse" the fish or the vegetables inside soy sauce and then you cook them Al Papillote.
This exquisite technique started in France, in the XIX century. At the beginning, people cut different foil shapes (heart, for example) and they used butter or olive oil to spread over the foil. Besides, they fried the food before to use the oven! So imagine... so greasy!
As a suggestion: when the food is in the oven, don't open it until cooked!! The flavor could dissipate!
I will find the perfect recipe to you!