Learn how to make this delicious dish with Chef Jacques van Staden: Melange of Seafood Papillote
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Chef Jaques van Staden
Melange of Seafood Papillote (With Fennel Tomatoes, Garlic, White Wine and Herbs and Saffron Rice)
I'm going to explain to you exactly how to do a Papillote today. Now Papillote is actually originally from France. What it is, is actually to cook in a paper bag, now what happens with this is that -- the great thing about this is when you actually cook in the bag the vegetables and all the seafood that we’re actually going to use today it steams in the bag. So what’s nice is not when you actually steam something and you dilute a lot of the flavor.
What’s nice with this it retains the flavors from all the vegetables actually all the seafood and the wine and the garlic everything that we’re going to have in there. With that we’re going to pair, we’re going to do some saffron rice, we’re actually going to start with that first. But, let me explain to you the process of the Papillote and what we’re going to do.
Now originally Papillote was used in portion paper. Today I would like to show you how to do it in portion paper but it’s one of those deals you had -- actually a gentlemen asked me today why don’t we do it on paper, because it’s always more challenging especially for you at home. Because what happens is the portion paper that you actually buy in the store doesn’t have the consistency or the thickness of the ones that we use commercially so therefore today we’re going to use foil.
Now, foil works just good. The reason what we’re going to do with this Papillote is you want to see how you make it and how it puffs up. And you will see on your recipes that I gave you today, it takes usually 10 to 15 minutes in the oven and how it steams and as it steams it absolutely pass in the foil and the same thing would have work if use portion paper.
Now, portion paper actually what you have to do is you have to brush the edges with egg yolk or egg whites because that way actually when it bakes it holds it close. So let’s go ahead, let’s start with our rice first, we’re going to do a little bit saffron rice today. And then a lot of you if you don’t have saffron, you know a lot of people go like saffron is expensive. But, you know saffron today in the stores are really not that expensive anymore and you can have saffron powder. This is the one that we use in the restaurant and what we’re going to do I’m just going to start of with a low butter and then if you don’t want to use butter you can always use olive oil or any peanut oil or any corn oil if you want too.
We will spray this down and then we’re going to add a little bit of shallots. Let me actually go over the ingredients that we have today. We have shallots, this is dice celery, dice carrots, some dice leeks we have some more dice shallots. Now, this one is what I’m going to use for the rice and later on I’m going to do some mussels over here which is a completely different recipe but, we have fennel. Fennel just sautéed off and if some of you don’t know what a fennel is this is a dried here, it got a nice anis flavor. Fennel always goes very good with any seafood really, really very nice and that’s why sometimes we also use perennial which is a really great flavor added four seafood.
Add some Manila clams these are actually UA tiger shrimp, mussels, scallops cut in half and I have some salmon. That is going to be what we’re going to assemble in our Papillote but like I said we’re going to start with the rice first because the rice usually is going to take a good 15 minutes to cook and we actually do a rice Papillote.
So let’s go ahead put a little bit shallots to this and I will do a little bit chop garlic that I have over here. A lot of people you know, you think of doing rice because some people just put it in the pot with the water and that’s it and they cook it. What we’re going to do a little bit different than the standard, what you want to do is when you sweat, we use the terminology in cooking, you actually want to sweat the shallots. Sweating means you don’t brown them, you just want to get them tender or at least until I turn transparent. While this is going I’m going to put a little bit of the saffron.
Now, you know the saffron it takes -- I think you only get – for the flower, you get four to five threads of saffron per flower so you got to figure there’s about 10,000 flowers that’s in this little bag when you do saffron. And I think that’s one of the reasons why saffron is actually so expensive. Go ahead, we’re going to sweat this. The reason why you don’t want to brown the shallots or the garlic is what happens when you brown it and you actually get your rice then you have this little dark pieces and burned pieces of garlic and shallots in your rice and you don’t want that.
So I’m going to add a little bit wine to this. At this point you can see it’s about there, it’s nice and tender, it’s not brown at all. So we add some of our wine, that does reduce a little bit you always use wine. When you add the wine reduce it just a little bit to it and then we’re going to add, this is just Uncle Ben’s rice. Now, you can use Basmati rice which is really good but we’re going to keep it simple and just do some Uncle Ben’s here and then what I have too is I have some a big one here but this is clam juice .
Now, I'm going to ask myself why would I use clam juice in making this rice. We’ll think about it, we are actually serving it with a seafood dish so when you use clam juice you just added more seafood flavor to the dish you understand. So therefore we’re going to use clam juice and instead of chicken stock. A lot of you probably want to get clam juice in the stores today, you can buy it with cans they have all kind of clam juice so that is not problem.
Rule of thumb I'm sure a bunch of you has already cooked rice, but the rule of thumb of it is usually when you add -- I just usually add maybe like almost a centimeter more of the stock to the rice and that’s what we’re going to cook it. Bring it up to a boil, we’re going to cover it with a lead and I’m actually going to put it in the 400 degree oven, it will stay there for 15 minutes and that when we take the rice out, the same thing it will be nice and sticky so we’re just going to fluff it up.
All right, let’s go to the Papillote. This is the foil so what we’re going to do, you want actually to take your foil and I’m going to fold it in half. Be very careful when you do this, you do not want to puncture the foil whatsoever because when you puncture it actually the liquid is going to come out and a lot of the steam is going to escape and you don’t want that to happen. So what I’ll do with this too is we’re just going to add a little liquid. I always add just a little bit of clam juice, like one spoon, it just helps it when it actually starts cooking, it helps it with the steaming process. So we’re going to do that and it will take -- you can do one shrimp or you can do two shrimps. I’m going to put like a little scallop.
So the whole process of this is you’re just actually molding a little seafood packet here, the clams. Now, I don’t know if some of your know but clams usually always takes much longer than mussels to actually open it’s just because it’s the hardest shell so it steams much longer. So that’s one of the reasons why you got to make sure that clams cook a long time in there as well.
Fennel, again, the reason why we actually sauté the fennel is just because what happens was nice with it is fennel has a nice like I said flavor but it’s also tough. So if you don’t pre seal a little bit it will cook in here but you still have a good crunch in it and I don't want that crunch okay. So a little bit salmon. This is just a salmon fillet and you can use if you want Chilean sibas or any bass snapper. What I would suggest not to do is don’t use tuna because what will happen if you use tuna, the tuna will over cook and you do not want to have well done tuna into your Papillote.
So we put two pieces of salmon. Like I said your choice of this is absolutely free at will. You can do all kinds of stuff with this. If you want too you can do chicken, you can do a chicken Papillote, you can do a beef Papillote. With the beef Papillote I would preferably say that you use something like short ribs. Use short ribs, use any kind of steamy, you don’t want your flaming one on the Papillote definitely not.
Has anybody here made a Papillote at home maybe tried it? You know it’s one of those things it’s so easy to do because you can actually do this ahead of time put it in the refrigerator and when your guest come just pop in the oven and you’re done which is so, so easy to do.
All right, another good thing with this is health. It is extremely, extremely healthy when you do Papillotes, there’ no added fat to it, it just steams and its own like I said it steams in his own juices and therefore it’s really just the good flavor item that we have. So again anything else you want to add to this be my guest you can have – well I won’t add banana or anything like that but definitely if there’s anything else you want to add to this, you can do it.
Now the important part from this white wine, truffle oil, usually what I like to do, I might actually go ahead and do this, I’m going to do a little splash the oil of truffle we have in here. So when it comes out of the oven it’s really nice and perfumed. Sometimes we put some foie gras with it as well and it really makes a big difference. The rice here I’m going to add just a little bit more stock and there you go. All right.
So what we’ll do you want to take this carefully, hold it over and then take the edges and close it up, fold another edge and close it up. And then on the side what you’re going to do is we usually just fold it and close it, it’s just the question of folding it over, folding it over. Be careful when you get to the ends, the ends tend to get like real tight and what will happen it will puncture the edges of the actual Papillote and you want to be careful not to do that.
So that’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to make two more of these and while I do that I’m going to put them together, I’m going to ask my assistant Isa here and I’ll put all this together and she’s going to fold it for us. So like I said before you can go ahead – show a couple of samples here. Put your liquid and your truffle oil.
It really doesn’t matter where you put your truffle oil, it really doesn’t matter where you put your salt because what happens is it all perfumes, it all sits in one packet and perfumes. All right, rice is boiling. I’m going to go and the oven is at 420 degrees actually, so it will take like 10 to 15 minutes for that to cook and it will be ready and we’re going to put it aside. So again with the two clams and if you want to do more you can do more. One thing you have to remember though is be sure that you don’t put two much seafood in there that your packet doesn’t puff up because you’ll have a problem with it if you have it over load.
And that a couple of mussels, so as you can see this is something you can easily do, a lot of them, all of you guys can just assemble this put it together and like I said it, if you want to do chicken you can do chicken all kinds of stuff that you can with this. Ready and then Isa you can do some carrot and do some celery in there, throw that on there for us, put some salmon.
Usually with this like I like to use a little fatty fish because at least salmon when it cooks it cooks to a temperature of medium, it’s not well done but at least it’s a decent temperature where you can actually eat that and it’s not dry. Like I said tuna tends to be dry so you have to be careful with that.
What are we missing Isa? A bit of shallot and I think a little bit tomato. With that and then we’ll do salt and pepper and then you can fold it close for us, here we go. Now usually with seafood what I like to do, we don’t have it today, but usually a little bit of white pepper is good, but black pepper on this one is fine. Put that in, you can fold that close fast and throw your Papillote in the oven and again you can just put it in the portion paper and let me just make a double check. You really want to pound them down okay and you put this here.
Really pound them down to make sure they are very, very well sealed because like I said the little less air it will escape and it won’t puff up. This is something you’re going to do when you want some frustration out to yourself. You get in the kitchen early in the morning and your husband and your wife whichever is doing this you can definitely do this and get out. So again 420 degree oven, I'm going to throw this with the rice and you’ll see that probably the Papillote if you time it right your Papillote and the rice will be at the same time be ready. I think your rice should almost be ready, you can pull that out and then our Papillotes should at be at least another – let’s set at five minutes.
So you can see the rice was nice with it, it’s nice and drying so everything is cooked so we’re just going to flake it, just flake it a little bit and you can see it’s really, I mean it’s cooked perfectly. It’s not mushy, it’s not overcooked and that’s what’s nice with cooking what we call ala pilaf style or rice pilaf. And then again any other ingredient you want to add to this you going to add any like cashew nuts, pistachio nuts, raisins whatever ingredients you want to do add it right in the beginning cook it like that it comes out absolutely perfect.
So, let’s go ahead, let’s take a look at our Papillote. So it looks like my assistant, I can keep it, I don’t have to fire her, look they’re all nice and puff up. Good job there Isa. So, now generally what this do and how we serve this in the restaurant you will have a plate with salt on it actually, and then I got all my plates here with all the vegetable on it, put this aside. So what we would do you would have one of this plates full of rock salts sometimes we put like a little bit, you know, like dried flowers or dried herbs or pepper cones or any nice arrangements that you can put on here. Salts same thing, put your plate in the oven for about five minutes before you serve it so the salts taste nice and hot, rock salt, pepper if you want to do, and from there on you would take the Papillote put it on the plate and then run like hell go to the restaurant and serve the customer okay. Because you want to make sure this thing is puffy when it gets to the customer, that’s the whole thing it’s like a soufflé it cannot fall down. And what they have, I’m very unconventional here but they have a real nice silver tongues or golden tongues and silver spoons but they would do and they would actually stand here right by the customer and open this in front of the customer so when we open it up you have all that perfume. It’s just absolutely -- hang on.
Can you smell it? So if you could smell it on TV it’d be great. They’re working on it apparently, that’s what they keep promising our chefs. So now this is real nice, when you you look at it, the steam is real good and from here on you have two choices you can either go and you can add your rice into the Papillote if you want serve it like that and then table side give it to the customer, serve it. So you have your rice and everything eat just out of here. Or you can actually go ahead and you can serve your rice on the side and a little side dish and then serve the Papillote like that, and then usually what we do just right before you serve it just a little bit lemon juice and it absolutely makes it perfect so that’s it. How simple was that? Very, very easy like I said you can prepare bunch of things, you can even throw this on the grill. If you have a whole piece of salmon snapper, lobster whatever you have put all your ingredients in, wrap it up, make sure it’s nice and tight and just throw on the grill, and you throw five thing packet depending on how big your grill is, throwing them at the same time. They all start puff as soon as they’re puff that’s your cue for that is ready okay.