Thursday, November 8, 2012

Shiitake Mushrooms and Brown Rice En Papilotte

Shiitake Mushrooms and Brown Rice En Papilotte

This is the easiest dinner you've not made all year. I love everything about this; the way the mushrooms and rice steam together with thyme and soy sauce infusing each with delicate flavor and spice. The way the hot packet is set atop cool greens dressed in a quick lemony vinaigrette. The way it becomes a healthy, comforting meal, not salad, even though it could be mistaken for one.  I love that it is super easy, quick and practically fool proof, yet looks fancy. I love that it has so much more flavor than you are expecting it to. And lastly, I love the interplay of hot and cold, crisp and soft that come together on this plate, and I've been waiting for Fall all year so I could make it again.

Shiitake Mushrooms and Brown Rice En Papilotte

En papilotte is just a fancy way of saying  "in parchment paper". Food cooked in this method is sealed in parchment, and put into a hot oven, creating steam that cooks the food. It's a delicate and under used method. Cooking mushrooms and brown rice en papilotte is a great way to introduce yourself because you don't have to worry about the contents being undercooked and not edible. I had a terrible experience with cooking halibut this way many years ago that resulted in take-out and not buying fish again for two years. The fish would not cook. Like, seriously it refused. This stuff can be scary and scarring. No joke. That's why were starting out vegetarian. You've totally got this.

Sealing it up
Shiitake Mushrooms and Brown Rice En Papilotte

Shiitake Mushrooms and Brown Rice En Papilotte

Shiitake Mushrooms and Brown Rice En Papilotte
adapted from Whole Living Magazine
serves 4

2-4 cups cooked brown rice (depending on how much rice you want in each packet. I do about a cup per person)
4 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
8 sprigs fresh thyme
Coarse salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
4-8 tablespoons soy sauce (I use about a tablespoon and a half per packet, but I also use a lot of rice, so use your judgement. You can always add more when it's done.)
4 cups fresh greens, such as arugula
Lemon wedges

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper,  about 12 by 16 inches each. Divide brown rice among each parchment piece. Top with mushrooms and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil and soy sauce. Wrap packets up to seal by folding the center down and wrapping end underneath.

Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until packet is puffed and mushrooms are cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Divide greens among plates. Serve the packet warm, on top of greens and squeezed with lemon wedges.

*I usually toss my greens in a quick lemon dressing before topping with the mushroom and rice packet because I like my greens to be coated instead of drizzled in lemon juice. If you do too, just squeeze the lemon wedges into a cup (about 1/8 cup) and add 1/8 cup of olive oil, a hearty pinch of salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Dress greens just before serving and serve with additional lemon wedges.


10 comments:

  1. Yum! Everything you make always looks so dang good!

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  2. What could you use besides mushrooms??? HAHAHHA

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  3. Yum! I've really been wanting to try the parchment paper method. It's always SO good in restaurants. Great idea with the vegetarian angle. :)

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  4. I can't wait to try this one! I love mushrooms so :)

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