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on the parchment

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

What would be the reason to cover a moist oven preparation with parchment paper directly on the surface of the liquid rather than a hotel pan cover?

 

It seems like the lack of room for vaporizing might have something do do with it.

 

 

California Cook

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California Cook

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post #2 of 7

Parchment paper will help prevent the surface from burning and drying out; yet still allow for evaporation which a lid would not.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 7

It also slows the evaporation process some as well, so if you are trying to cook something in a moist environment but don't want a lot of actual liquid, or the item being cooked releases a lot of its own liquid, a cartouche can help a lot. 

 

 

post #4 of 7

It's not just used with ovendishes. Many times they use it when cooking something on the stovetop, certainly when braising stuff in a little butter and very few liquid. I've seen it done with a series of vegetables prepared on the stove top in a little butter and a ladle of stock. It keeps the preparation moist without too fast evaporation, which could result in a too concentrated taste. The liquid and the butter create some sort of delicious emulsion.

 

It's also used when poaching stuff like whole pears in wine. The fruit will always float on top with the same side upward. To prevent uneven cooking of the pears, a cartouche is placed on top.

 

And, also true is that many pots in pro kitchens don't even have a lid...

post #5 of 7
"Lack of room for vaporization" is right and wrong -- perhaps more wrong than right. A lid on the right size pan works pretty well for that.

You put paper in contact with the surface to (a) prevent reduction -- as with any close fitting cover; and (b and c) prevent a skin from forming and/or any surface browning -- those two are the biggies. Which is what ChefLayne said.

Sometimes a lid is put on top of the paper covered pan, sometimes not. Depends.

Some cooks use aluminum foil.

Sometimes, if the temps aren't too high -- as with steaming -- you can use commercial quality cling wrap. I don't think I'd go with ordinary Saran Wrap though. It gets melty at lowish temps.

A cartouche -- mentioned by Someday -- is a piece of paper torn or cut into the shape of a circle, which you put on top of the contents of a pan on the stove-top or in a bain marie or steam table. Usually it's done to prevent a skin from forming on the sauce while it's held. I've never done it or heard of doing it for any other reason, but I haven't done or heard about everything either.

BDL
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Just a practice that I peeked while in a kitchen, thanks alot for the elaboration; Chef Layne, Someday, Chris Belgium, BDL.

 

Reduces scum formation

Reduces browning on top

Even cooking for floating items

Lessens reduction

 

Perhaps its just a practice used when there are no lids, for full hotel pans in the case that I saw, as Chris Belgium mentioned.

California Cook

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California Cook

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post #7 of 7

It could be used for a lot of reasons, many mentioned above. If you want to get a really deep, long sweat of some vegetables for stock, or to sweat some onions, a cartouche would be helpful. It's not necessary, mind you, but it can be helpful. Braising cabbage on the stovetop--another good example. 

 

Sometimes called a parchment lid, or a parchment circle. 

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