Why Parchment Paper is my Best Friend When Cooking

As most of you who read this blog know, I look for easier ways to do things. I don’t like a lot of the housework that is necessary to keep a household running, so anything to make life easier makes me happier. One of my go-to tools in the kitchen is parchment paper. Parchment paper helps baked good brown, can be used in the microwave and makes cleanup quick and easy.

Parchment Paper for Baking

If you bake items like cookies, biscuits or other baked oven items, then you’ve probably tried all the tools available. I’ve tried cooking stones (the cookies take forever to bake and are often squishy on top), metal sheets with spray (yuck!), and special cookie sheets.

The very best solution I’ve found is parchment paper. Simply place a sheet over whatever baking sheet you want to use (I’ve tried it on stones, metal, etc.) and place the cookies on the paper. No need for greasing. Bake as directed and you will wind up with slightly browned, perfect cookies that don’t stick to the pan. Even better? Cleanup is just wadding up the paper and throwing it out. I do usually clean the pan underneath, but it really isn’t dirty.

Other Parchment Paper Uses

fish in parchmentIn addition to baking cookies, you can use parchment to create little pockets to cook fish, chicken and other meats. The juices are sealed inside and create moist food.

First, you’ll want to cut a large square of parchment. Place the meat in the center, add veggies, seasonings, oils/butters and then pulls the sides up into a tent. Roll together at the top and sides to completely seal the pocket. Bake as normal.

Ideas:

  • Chicken, potatoes, drizzle Italian dressing on top
  • Fish of choice, lemons, pat of butter, peppercorns and salt
  • Beef, carrots, red potatoes, dash of Worcestershire sauce, sea salt
  • Chicken breast, salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil

Use your imagination and you’ll come up with a wide variety of pocket meal combinations. This is also a very simple way to cook for one or two people.

Microwave Treats

I also use parchment paper to make up some homemade potato chips. Simply slice the potatoes as thin as possible and lay in a single layer on the parchment sheet. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Now, nuke in the microwave for 2 minutes on high. After that, nuke 30 seconds at a time until potatoes become as crisp as you’d like. I like mine just barely crispy.

Note that the outside potato chips may get done first. You can use a small spatula to remove these and cook the ones in the center a bit longer or you can leave the center empty and only place potato slices around the outside of the parchment paper.

Rachael Ray

We always enjoy watching Rachael Ray. She has a lot of energy and positive vibe. I knew I wanted to share some tips on parchment paper, so I looked to see what she might have on this topic on her site. I found this article by her on 10 Handy Uses for Parchment Paper that is worth reading.

She has some great ideas about using parchment paper as disposable place mats, to cover dishes in the microwave and even to roll up and use as a cone for snack items (might be cute for a party and you could decorate the outside). In addition, she has some recipes you can click on for pocket meals for fish and chicken.

I think you will learn to love parchment paper as much as I do and it will become a staple in your kitchen cupboards. Let me know your experiences and uses for parchment in the comments below.

 

 

Photo Credits: Wikipedia via Creative Commons and pinprick via Compfight cc

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Crabby Housewife

Author: Crabby Housewife

Lori is a full-time housewife and writer, living in the Midwest with her husband of 26 years and her two daughters. They have a house full of pets and her house is never quite perfect.

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