Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm back!

Whew! Final are over, essays are written, and projects are finished! Hurray!
I promise you, I haven't been living off of fast food or frozen dinners... even in times of extreme all night studying, I still try my veerrry best to eat yum foodie foodie.

Often during my nights elbows-deep in textbooks, taking a break to make dinner is very entirely therapeutic.  Cooking has nothing to do with a 50 pound text book, it is driven my intuition (sometimes), and I feel almost immediate satisfaction from taking raw materials and turning it into something yum-licious.

Lately, I've been a little obsessed with using an oven. Putting something into a cooking vessel and popping it into the oven is kind of fun, it's almost a bit of a surprise when you open it up and find what the magic of the oven has produced.
So, here is a little something that I made in the midst of studying for my terrifying history of graphic design final.

Chicken and Veggies en Papillote 
This is chicken roasted in a parchment paper bag!  I had a lot of ingredients leftover from one of my previous meals (rosemary food coma...) so I found myself hoping to use an oven on them.. but I didn't want to use a dutch oven again! I wanted to try a different method. So, I took this approach that creates little individual servings! Here we go:

You'll need: (for 2 servings)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 zucchini
1/2 C. potatoes (rough chop)
1/2 C. mushrooms (rough chop)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery
2 large sheets of parchment paper
olive oil
garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 375ยบ.
Chop the zucchini, potatoes, mushrooms, onion, and celery.
Do your very best to chop them into even sizes. The veggies will have a lot of interaction with steam in this cooking process, so it's good to roughly chop them on the larger side. Mine ended up being about 1/2" thick, but you can guesstimate. Put all of your chopped veggies into a bowl, and toss with a good amount of olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper. Now would be a good time to add any additional seasoning if you'd like. I wanted to keep it simple, but feel free to experiment. Rosemary, thyme, or even a little dried basil would be good if you care to try.
Next, get a cookie/baking sheet out, lay the parchment paper on top, and then put the chicken breast on top of that. Salt and pepper both sides liberally. Next, you'll pile some of the veggies on top of the chicken. Keep in mind, that you will eventually be making a little pouch out of this parchment paper, so try not to overload it too terribly much. Now, take two sides and lift them up to meet directly above the chicken/veggies. Fold the ends together two or three times, or just until it is secure. Then, take the other two open ends, and fold them underneath, so it'll look like this:

Woohoo! Good job...
Repeat this for the other servings (however many you choose to do). I ended up with extra veggies, so I made another little bag with just veggies. Now, just pop this into the oven and let it work its magic. 

Put this into the oven for 20–25 minutes, it all depends on your oven. Come to think of it, I think mine only stayed in there for about 18 minutes. Like I said, it all depends on your oven. After your waiting time is up, take the little yum-packets out of the oven, open up, and NOM NOM NOM NOOMM

well hello beautiful!

Foodie Foodie!

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