Cooking En Papillote – A Tutorial

I did not make this week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie (Orange-Almond Tart) for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that we simply don’t need an extra dessert around the house.  Instead, I am doing something a little different…

A few weeks ago I made Brown-Sugar Squash and Brussels Sprouts en Papillote as part of my French Table Feast.  While the dish was super simple and delicious to make, I felt the vague instructions for making the packets were a little inadequate.  I have cooked “en papillote” using another recipe with more complete instructions, so I used those instructions this time as well.  I took pictures of the process to create this tutorial.  As usual, you can click the pictures to see a larger view.

En papillote is a method of cooking where the food is wrapped in sealed packet and placed in the oven.  The food is steamed inside the packet as it cooks.  Either parchment paper or aluminum foil can be used, although I prefer to use parchment paper.

Step 1:  Prepare your ingredients.

Prepared Squash and Brussels Sprouts

1. Prepare the ingredients

Step 2:  Cut squares of parchment paper or aluminum foil into squares at least 12″ x 12″.  Mine ended up about 15″ x 12″ because my parchment paper came in a 15″ wide roll.

Cut Squares

2. Cut squares out of parchment

Step 3:  Fold the paper in half.  If the paper isn’t quite a square, fold it perpendicular to the longer side.  In other words, after folding, my pieces measured 7.5″ x 12″.

Folded parchment

3. Fold parchment in half

Step 4:  Cut a rough heart shape out of your folded paper.

Cut Heart

4. Cut a heart shape

Step 5:  Unfold the papers and place them on a work surface.  Some recipes have you brush them with melted butter or olive oil.  Divide your ingredients among the papers, placing them to one side of the center fold.

Place Ingredients

5. Place ingredients on paper

Step 6:  Refold the paper over the ingredients.  Starting at one end of the fold, crimp along the open edge to seal the packets.  I did a couple of small folds along the edges to crimp.  Be sure to leave room around the ingredients so they can steam.

Completed Packets

6. Crimp edges to form packets

Step 7:  Bake as directed.  Open the parchments and enjoy!


7. Enjoy!



Filed under Cooking

4 responses to “Cooking En Papillote – A Tutorial

  1. I loved, loved, loved the brussels sprouts & squash en papillote! Very nice.

  2. Wow- this is great ! Thanks so much for sharing because I was interested in doing this and it is wonderful to have the tutorial. I also love brussels sprouts so all the more incentive. When your home has been dessert free for a while and you are ready to jump back in- I would definitely encourage the orange almond tart. It really was spectacular !

  3. Thank you for this tutorial! I keep looking at the en papillote recipes and shying away due to the rather non-specific directions (and I’m feeling too lazy to look up any pointers). Love it!

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