Have you ever been disappointed by returning to a pan to find an unpleasant skin formed ontop of your once beautiful sauce? Even worse, what about returning to a pan of dried out sweating onions? If the answer is yes, or you just like to have full control of your cooking, then what you're looking for is a cartouche!
What is a cartouche?
It's a lid made using parchment paper to cover a saute pan, perfect for when you want to control heat and evaporation during simmering or poaching.
Why use a cartouche in cooking
A cartouche serves two purposes:
1. It slows down the rate of eveporation- perfect for poaching or simmering when it's important to maintain moistness and a steady temperature.
2. Placed directly on top of a sauce, soup or protein a cartouche prevents the unwanted surface "skin" that can form on sauces when they come into contact with air.
How to Make a cartouche -
To make a cartouche, all you'll need is some parchment or greaseproof paper and some scissors.
1 Cut a square or round piece of greaseproof paper and fold into segments, the shape of an elongated triangle. Cut the triangle to slightly larger than the radius of your pan.
2 Unfold the paper into a circle that should fit snugly inside the saucepan on top of whatever you are cooking.
3 Scrunch up the cartouche and dampen under cold water before use. The scrunching helps the paper hold a little more water and fit a little better in the pan. Lay on top of the ingredients to be cooked.