Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Paper Lids

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To cover, or not to cover; that is the question.
When cooking, if you cover the pot, the steam is trapped inside, providing a moist environment for the food, and prevents the liquid from evaporating. It also creates steam, which can drip back down into the food and dilute the contents.

With an open pot, the food will be able to brown, and the liquid will reduce.

There are valid reasons for cooking with the lid on or off, depending on what you are making. Sometimes we want a third option, so that the food doesn’t steam, but is covered enough to prevent rapid evaporation. This can sometimes be achieved by leaving the pot partially covered, if the lid is made to allow you to do so. Or, you can make a lid out of parchment paper that sits on top of the food, allowing the steam to escape, but leaving it essentially covered.

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To make a paper lid:
Cut a piece of parchment paper that is a little larger than the opening of the pot.

Fold the paper in half, and then in half again the other way. Next, fold that into a triangle, and fold the triangle again several times.  Place the point of the cone at the center of the pot, and then cut the open end along the edge of the pot. It is preferable to err on the smaller side, so that the parchment circle fits inside the pot. Snip off a small area of the point to create a hole for the steam to escape in the center of the lid once it is unfolded.

Place the lid directly on top of the food, and use tongs to lift it up as needed.

The best part? You just toss it in the trash when you’re done!

Get more details at Serious Eats.

Photos: Glasshouse Images / Serious Eats

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