Just because I’ve splurged on a bevy of silicone baking mats (see page 514) and rarely use parchment paper to line my baking sheets doesn’t mean I don’t always keep a roll in the kitchen. When I want to get a little fancy, I’ll use parchment packets instead of foil for anything en papillote — often I’ll draw the paper up around the food, so it looks like a hobo’s sack and close it with a wooden clothespin. Also, sometimes when I’m making a stew that must simmer for a long time, I make a little parchment lid for the pot to help ensure that the liquid in the casserole doesn’t bubble away. To do this, fold a square of parchment into a quarters and then into a triangle. Position the point of the triangle over the center of the pan and then cut the overhang so that it’s just a tad larger than the radius of the pan. With the paper still folded, snip the short side, the base of the triangle into a fringe 1 to 2 inches deep. Open the triangle and place the fringed circle of parchment directly on top of whatever you’ve got bubbling away in the pan; cover or not. This is also a nifty trick to have in your arsenal when you find yourself without a proper lid for a pot.

Dorie Greenspan