It's no wonder that our group of bloggers had a difficult time coming up with original Dorothy Hamilton recipes this week. Her influence on the world of food came through her educational and entrepreneurial accomplishments, not by being a chef in her own right. But that doesn't mean that she doesn't have her own philosophy of food.
I find it helpful, whenever possible, to listen to live interviews as I try to get to know some of these names on the list that are unfamiliar to me. I get a richer sense of their personality when I listen to them speak in their own words. Dorothy comes across as a thoroughly modern, down to earth working mom who loves food and just happens to run the country's most renowned culinary institute.
But what does a woman who is surrounded 24/7 by gourmet food and some of the best chefs in the world do when she needs to drop a few pounds? She enlists the help of those top chefs and instructors to develop a regimen of low calorie meals. How cool is that? The recipe I chose to make comes from that group.In one interview Dorothy defines great cooking as simply "a little bit of fire, having some great ingredients... and then not manipulating them too much."
Fish and veggies en papillote, or in parchment, is a classic and healthy French method for cooking fish in its own juices. Don't worry, if you can fold up a lunch bag you can master papillote. This is another one of those dishes that is almost stupidly simple to do, but just reeks of sophistication. Cooking 'en papillote' is naturally low cal because the food is steamed, without the need for extra fats.
It's a good technique for delicate fish like sole, flounder, or tilapia because you don't have to manipulate the fish at all. But you can use any fish, and almost any vegetable, as long as you cut or slice it very thin so it cooks quickly with the fish. I like it because you can make it ahead and then just pop the packets into the oven 20 minutes before you want to eat. Almost as easy as the crock pot.
|You're going to want to have some parchment paper around for your holiday cookie baking anyway.|
Roasted Tilapia with Vegetables en Papillote (adapted from André Soltner )
Preheat the oven to 375
- 1/2 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, cut in thin sicks
- a similar amount of thin asparagus, ends cut off
- extra-virgin olive oil
- Lemon slices
- several sprigs of thyme, or rosemary
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 pieces of Tilapia
- Pre-heat a baking sheet in the oven.
- Lay out 2 15-inch-long sheets of parchment paper. Mound some of the vegetables in the center of each sheet. Set the fillets on the vegetables and season well with salt and pepper. Put a lemon slice and a few sprigs of thyme on each fillet. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Lift up both long sides of each parchment and fold crisply over a few times, like folding up a lunch bag. Then do the same on each end, but making the folds go under, so the weight of the packet holds itself together.
- Lay the packets side by side on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Open the packets and transfer the fish and vegetables to plates, or unwrap the packet on your plate and dig right in.
Your packets will puff up with steam while they cook, kind of like a gourmet version of microwave popcorn. Be careful when you unwrap, it's hot.
Cooking fish and vegetables this way offers you a rare opportunity to eat fresh fish without a lot of fussing at the last minute. These packets can be stacked in the fridge ready to go. No need to make a side dish, the veggies are included. Another bonus: no dishes to clean up!
Be sure to check out these other bloggers who are joining me on this exploration of the 50 Women Game Changers in the world of food---
Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Heather - girlichef
Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Barbara - Movable Feasts
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Amy - Beloved Green
Jeanette - Healthy Living
Linda - Ciao Chow Linda
Linda A - There and Back Again
Martha - Lines from Linderhof
Nancy - Picadillo