Small guide to cooking in foil, healthy and light
Cooking in foil allows you to cook any type of food in a healthy and light way. Here’s everything you need to know.
Together with steam cooking, that in foil stands out for being particularly light and healthy.cooking that reduces the addition of fats, while preserving the quality of the foodUsing the same principle of the indirect heat source that spreads evenly and helps to develop steam, the foil preserves the organoleptic properties of the food, guaranteeing a truly surprising softness . But the benefits of cooking in foil do not end there: the original way in which foods are wrapped (mainly in parchment paper, and in some cases in aluminum) is not only a cooking tool but also a distinctive sign that acts as a platter with which to serve them. Furthermore, the formation of steam, enhancing the consistency and taste of individual foods, allows the addition of fats to be reduced to a minimum.during cooking and to be preferred in all those cases of low-calorie diets. So here is everything you need to know about cooking in foil : from the different techniques with which to decline it to the choice of the most suitable foods.
Which card to use
With the exception of cooking in foil on the grill or on the barbecue (and some special cases), where you will have to use aluminum foil to withstand high temperatures at the direct source of heat, in all other cases the best tool is parchment paper.. Choose sheets large enough to contain the dish and close it perfectly without making it adhere to the paper, otherwise the air will not be able to circulate and develop the necessary steam: you can close the foods in the shape of candy or collect them and form bags to tie with kitchen twine. Remember that cooking should be short and the temperature not too high: therefore, stick to about 10-15 minutes for fish, and half an hour for meat. This way you will get food that is crunchy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside.
In the pan
Who said that for cooking in foil you need only and exclusively the oven? In reality, this technique lends itself to other methods to choose from depending on the needs and type of food. If you want to cook in a pan to avoid turning on the oven without giving up the benefits of cooking in foil, no problem. Take a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle the surface with herbs and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, place the dish and close by sealing the edges well (better if with an emulsion of water and flour). Cover with a lid in order to increase the formation of the necessary humidity and cook over low heat for about fifteen minutes.
In a pressure cooker
The pressure cookerit is the indispensable tool when you have little time available and you need to cook foods that require a particularly long cooking time. The presence of the basket will allow you to take full advantage of the steam emanating from the water and combine it with the benefits of cooking in foil. Set up the pressure cooker as you usually do: fill the bottom with water making sure to keep a certain distance from the basket and place a sheet of greaseproof paper (or oiled aluminum) on it. Foods. A trick to add more aroma and flavor is to pour some aromas or a drop of wine into the water. At this point, close the pot with the lid and cook at maximum heat. Once the pressure is reached, lower the heat and continue cooking for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size and consistency of the food. After the necessary time has elapsed, let the steam completely escape from the pot, open it and gently remove the foil.
What to cook in foil
Cooking in foil is a democratic technique that does not exclude any type of food : from fish, to meat, even pasta, the recipes to be prepared using this method are truly numerous. Let’s start with one of the most original uses, namely spaghetti . Baking the pasta in foil will allow you to obtain a particularly crunchy texture that goes well with tasty and creamy condiments. You can range from recipes based on zucchini and shrimp, to the classic version with clams, to earthy variations with white or red ragù.
Another food that gives its best when cooking in foil is vegetables : choose from the seasonal one, blanch it for a few minutes (or sauté it in a pan) and cut it into small pieces. Generously flavor as you prefer and season with extra virgin olive oil. Arrange in parchment paper sheets, close forming bags and bake in a preheated static oven at 180 ° C for 10 minutes.
A delicious variant is represented by potatoes in foil : preparing them is very easy. Wash the potatoes under running water to remove any impurities, dry them carefully and wrap them individually in aluminum foil. Bake them in a preheated oven at 200 ° C for about 45 minutes. Once cooked, open them in half, flavor them and stuff them with cheese and mushrooms, but also with salmon and chives.
And we come to proteins: a perfect recipe to cook in foil is meatloaf . In this case, in fact, the perfect result requires a soft and moist consistency that only this type of cooking will be able to guarantee. To maintain the weight of the meat, overlap two or three sheets of parchment paper, roll up the meatloaf and cook in a preheated oven at 200 ° C for about 40 minutes.
As for fish , however, you will be spoiled for choice: whether it is sea bass , sea bream , sea bass , tuna or salmon, cooking in foil will maintain a perfectly tender and moist consistency. First, place an aluminum foil on a baking sheet and overlap another layer with a sheet of baking paper. Place the fillets of your favorite fish in the center and massage the surface with emulsions and aromas to flavor. Also pour a few tablespoons of white wine, which will release its aroma and flavor during cooking, fold the sheets of baking paper forming the parcels and bake them in a preheated oven at 180 ° C. Cook for about twenty minutes and serve with seasonal vegetables, perhaps also baked in foil.