Pink butcher paper could be your secret recipe to success in the kitchen. Cooking in paper is growing in popularity, but that doesn’t mean just any food can be thrown in a brown paper grocery bag and placed in the oven (note: fire hazard). Consider safety and the proper cooking method, and you can be sure you’ll get five stars from your family on your next meal.
Select the right paper
First, choose the right kind of paper. Freezer paper and wax paper are coated, so don’t cook with them. Grocery store bags are not sterile and the inks and fibers can emit toxic fumes when heated. They can also catch on fire. Butcher paper is inexpensive and safe for cooking, but make sure you don’t skimp on quality. Oren International only uses certified, FDA-approved pink butcher paper.
Now that you have a roll of pink butcher paper in your pantry, what can you do with it?
The French have been cooking in paper for centuries. Cooking “en papillote” became popular when food was served with flourish in restaurants. Perfectly wrapped parcels of steamed fish were sliced open at the table with an aromatic show. But you don’t need the pomp and circumstance to master this technique at home.
En papillote is a method of cooking in which food is put into a folded pouch and then baked. The parcel is traditionally made from parchment paper but other materials such as pink butcher paper and aluminum foil are growing in popularity. Herbs, vegetables, butter or sauce are included with a protein. The moisture of the liquid combines with the natural juices of the protein to produce steam, which cooks the food and creates a pocket of flavor.
Fish is the most popular protein with this cooking method. Chicken can be used as well, but be sure to avoid thick cuts. Filets of fish such as snapper, sole, flounder or tilapia or chicken breasts thinner than one inch are the best option. Vegetables should be sliced thin so that they cook at the same rate as the protein.
Create a pouch
To create the pouch, fold a sheet of butcher’s paper in half and cut out a half heart shape twice the size of the food to be cooked. The unfolded paper looks like a butterfly wing, which is how it got its name derived from the French “Papillion”, which means butterfly.
Open the paper, brush with oil and center your food on the heart. Fold the top over and secure the edges tightly by rolling them several times. Place the packet on a baking sheet and cook according to your recipe’s recommendations.
Recipe for cooking with pink butcher paper
Here’s an easy recipe of Fish en Papillote with Tomato & Olives to try. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors. The possibilities are endless.
The best part of the meal is the presentation. Serve the packets on plates and let your guests unwrap them at the table. They will love the flavorful and aromatic punch of these pouches!
You may have heard about a current national shortage of pink butcher paper, which could make this kitchen aid harder than usual to find. But at Oren International, we are well stocked. If you would like to try cooking in pink butcher paper, contact us to stock up!