A question about a recipe: Salmon Papillotes with Red Peppercorns, Lime and Fresh Ginger

Can i...
1. substitute for red peppercorns and siczhuan?
2. can i sub bacon for pancetta?
3. i dont follow the first step about the folding. im a guy, and im not a cook...but even with two degrees i didnt understand the alum foil folding instructions
thanks,

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Merrill Stubbs
Merrill Stubbs April 21, 2012

Is your question about the red peppercorns?

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austip02
austip02 April 21, 2012

sorry for not being more specific. i have 3 questions:
1. substitute for red peppercorns and siczhuan?
2. can i sub bacon for pancetta
3. i dont follow the first step about the folding. im a guy, and im not a cook...but even with two degrees i didnt understand the alum foil folding instructions
thanks,

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Reiney
Reiney April 21, 2012

I am with you on the folding instructions - they could use a diagram. Basically what you want to do is create a sealed foil pocket for the fish fillet to steam in the aromas.

I believe the instructions are designed to create a much bigger piece of foil to have all the fish in one packet - but you can also create individual packets. Not sure this is much clearer, but:

- Overlap two large pieces of tinfoil to make one large square.
- Fold the section that is overlapped twice, one inch at a time, and press firmly to create a seal at the overlap.
- When you place the fish in the centre, fold the foil over the fish and crimp around the edges by folding the seams several times.

(Or you can just follow the last step for individual pieces)

Here's video to show the crimping & desired result (ignore the bit about the heart-shaped parchment, that's just overly complicating matters again)

http://www.youtube.com...

Sub for red peppercorns - I'd just use some black or white pepper, but go easy as red peppercorns have a more subtle flavour. And leave the sichuan out entirely.

I didn't see where pancetta was used in the recipe but generally, yes, bacon can be subbed for pancetta.

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ChefOno
ChefOno April 21, 2012

This slideshow will show you how it's done and has a photo of a foil packet. All you're trying to do is make an airtight, certainly a watertight package. Feel free to design your own.

http://www.seriouseats...

En papillote ("in parchment") is a favorite technique when done in individual portions. Not that there's anything wrong with the utilitarian approach, but it lacks the dramatic flair of the traditional packets, opened at the table (or just before serving).
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austip02
austip02 April 21, 2012

Thank you for your great answers! Austip02

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Sam1148
Sam1148 April 21, 2012

I find siczhuan a bit too numbing and over powering. I use just a touch of Japaneese. Shansho (sansyo) available at the Japaneese and other Asain market in a little shaker bottle to finish a dish.
It from the same family of tree but with a much less aggressive flavor.

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