**Giveaway Closed: 1/10/12**
Brette Sember is onto something.
Her new cookbook, The Parchment Paper Cookbook, is a volume dedicated solely to dishes cooked in – you guessed it! – parchment paper. One hundred and eighty recipes of parchment-paper cooking: oh, the possibilities. And with the promise on the cover – No Pots! No Pans! No Mess! – how could I not be excited? I’m a sucker for cleanliness. And exclamation points.
So I happily forged ahead, sharpening my origami skills with the step-by-step parchment paper folding-technique, moving aside my Pots! and Pans!, basking in the glory of an uncluttered counter space. For a student with a small kitchen and limited cooking supplies, this was promising. This was beautiful.
It almost delivered. But boy, was it fun.
I was disappointed in the amount of times Sember called for pre-cooked items in her recipes; her Party in a Packet calls for prepared French Onion Dip, for example, and her Succotash calls for canned creamed corn. Some things, it seems, are not meant to be cooked in a parchment paper pouch. Some things, it seems, do need Pots! and Pans!
But for the ingredients that lend themselves well to parchment-paper cooking – fish, vegetables, and fruits, more specifically – this book served as a fantastic springboard. Simple Baked Apples were fantastic with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and the Green Tea Salmon with Ginger turned out tender, flavorful, and mess-free, of course. Green Beans with Dates and Walnuts were simple and delicious, and her Baked Brie was properly indulgent and oozy. With a discerning eye, and the folding technique, the possibilities are endless. Experiment away – there’s no mess to clean up.
If maneuvered carefully and thoughtfully, The Parchment Paper Cookbook is a great reference for any college student with a small kitchen and a penchant for adventure. Use it as a springboard; use it as a muse. Get creative; try new things. Because isn’t that what college is all about, anyway?
Comment below for a chance to win a copy of The Parchement Paper Cookbook! To enter, you must:
1 apple, cored
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
½ tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 tablespoons water, apple juice, or apple cider
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut a 12-inch piece of parchment.
3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
4. Place the apple on the parchment.
5. Mix remaining ingredients then stuff them down inside the center of the apple.
6. Allow excess ingredients to mound around the bottom of the apple.
7. Fold the parchment and bake for an hour and a half.
8. Be sure to spoon out all they gooey sauce that has formed on the bottom of the parchment!