[MUSIC PLAYING] BETH MCKINNEY: Welcome, everyone, to three easy dinners, which as you can see from your recipes is four easy dinners. I snuck an extra one in. My name is Beth McKinney from Cornell Wellness. And we're going to have some fun here in the kitchen and attempt to do it within the hour.
I am going to tell you what we're going to make. And then we are going to start making it. And if you have questions, please feel free to raise your hand at any point. This is for you to learn something hopefully new. And then at the end, we will have an opportunity to taste everything.
The first recipe is fish in papillote, which is actually wrapped in parchment paper. And the beauty of that is that it's easy. It's very little mass and has good food in it. All of these recipes are absolutely flexible. So today we are using cod. And what I did was I bought this Alaskan cod from Wegmans. This was about $15 or so. It came with eight pieces of fish, which in my household would be eight dinners. Some of the pieces are bigger than others.
But my philosophy was that dinner or with any meal is that a meal should include at least three food groups. And so what we've got here is an opportunity for two food groups. And then of course, you might want to add a third food group. This is the meat group and the vegetable group. So you might want to add rice or some starch with it.
But essentially what I'm doing is it-- the recipe says julienne these vegetables. The thinner you make them, the faster they will cook. What I hope you'll notice is that with these carrots-- and the carrots take the longest to cook-- I just cut the bottom off. And I'm working on a flat, bottom carrot, because it's really hard to cut a roley carrot.
This is one of the Division of Nutritional Sciences knifes. So it's not my knife. So it's a little bit different. But hopefully you're familiar with using your knife. In terms of knife skills, I want you to notice that I'm holding my knife by the blade. People do it differently. And there's no one exact way to do this. But this gives me a lot more control.
So the things that you should notice are that my cutting board is, first of all, on a wet towel so it doesn't slide. Two, it is close to me, because it's much more difficult to put your cutting board far away. I keep it as close to me as I can to get more leverage. And essentially, that's how you do it.
There are-- what are those things called that spin your zucchini, the spiralizers? There are other devices that you can buy. There are even graters that will grate it into julienne for you. And you are certainly welcome to do those. But this-- between washing a device and just cutting this might actually be less time.
So I'm going to cut these into small pieces just to make it quicker for them to cook and easier for us to move along with the recipe. So this recipe has three vegetables on it. You could put any vegetable that you want on this. This is a zucchini. So we have zucchini. We have mushrooms. And we have carrots.
The zucchini is probably going to cook a little bit faster than the carrots. So you could theoretically put some thicker slices on if you want. Whoops. And there's no one right way to do this.
And the last ingredient, I think the recipe says shitake mushrooms. I used regular mushrooms, just because I spaced out in the grocery store. So if you don't like mushrooms, certainly don't use mushrooms. Can you think of any other vegetables that you might use as a substitute?
SPEAKER 1: Cauliflower.
BETH MCKINNEY: Cauliflower.
SPEAKER 2: Eggplant.
BETH MCKINNEY: Eggplant. You could use any leftover vegetable. You could use carrots, celery, broccoli, snow peas, any vegetable that you might just have in your house. So it's very flexible. What other fish would you use?
SPEAKER 1: Catfish.
BETH MCKINNEY: Catfish.
SPEAKER 2: Tilapia.
BETH MCKINNEY: Tilapia, which is now the least expensive fish. You can do this with salmon as well. On the bottom of your recipe, I will-- I put the number of calories for salmon and then for a white fish, because there's a different number of calories. They-- they're just different fishes. And salmon has more oil in it.
And what I did for all the recipes-- and I know this sounds a little bit strange-- but I put the total calories for the entire recipe, whatever the ingredients are there, because I don't know your portion size. And so this way you can do the math.
So the key here is to have some sort of parchment paper. And voila. Essentially, you're going to salt and pepper your fish. If you don't want as much salt, certainly don't use as much salt. Question?
SPEAKER 3: This might sound silly.
BETH MCKINNEY: Parchment doesn't have any wax on it. And wax paper can get a little bit soggy. And so the-- what we're going for here, to be honest, is you don't want a mess. You don't want to clean up a pan. And so essentially, let me just cut up a mushroom. And then Ruth, can I give you some vegetables to cut up to prepare the other ones? OK.
We're making the whole bag today, because we've got so many people. And I just want everyone to take a taste. So why not? Going to put a little chunk of butter on and I think a little parsley.
So before I do the parsley, let me just tell you about parsley. If you've never cut parsley before, it's really kind of fun. I took the leaves off of the stems. And I left some of the tiny little, thin stems. I just took the big thick ones off. But the way to cut parsley is to roll the whole thing into a little ball and then slice it. Voila.
Am I forgetting any ingredients? I don't think so. It's possible. The butter's on there.
RUTH: Oh, I missed it. Sorry.
BETH MCKINNEY: OK. So essentially, what you want to do here is you want to wrap it up in a way so that it's not going to leak, any way that you can do this that fits with common sense. I think what they're trying to explain in the recipe is to fold it over the top. Fold them in. And this goes into a 425 degree oven. So I'm going to give you this one. And then I'll make the second one. And then Ruth is going to get the rest of them ready for us.
OK. And so Ruth gets all of these ingredients.
RUTH: I'll come get them.
BETH MCKINNEY: Fantastic. Oh absolutely. I just-- this recipe called for butter. I used butter. The point is, this is a suggestion. Think of these recipes as a suggestion for a way to cook at home. If you want to change anything, all of the recipes are quite forgiving. And so I would say try something. Sometimes it's a winner. Sometimes it's not a winner. But if you never try, you won't know.
SPEAKER 4: Did you salt and pepper them before you--
BETH MCKINNEY: I did. I sprinkled a little bit of salt and pepper on them. So to be honest, my husband and I had this for dinner the other night. And it almost seemed too easy. We each got a packet. We opened it up. We slid it off on to the plate. I did make some rice. And dinner was so fast. It was weird. And then the pan was clean. Yes, question?
Absolutely. Yes. In fact, someone earlier asked if you could wrap it in banana leaves. Sure. So you know what, just if there's a chance it might leak, depending on what wrapper you use. But it steams on the inside. The oil will-- or the butter will get a little bit hotter, will help cook it. The butter will give a little bit of a flavor. Olive oil would give it a little bit of olive oil flavor. And I would just encourage you to experiment. You can put any herbs and spices that you want as well.
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Learn a quick way to cook fish fillets and vegetables in a parchment paper wrapper. Demo presented by Cornell Wellness staff Beth McKinney, RDN.