Bruce Sherman, chef of the restaurant North Pond uses a parchment paper circle instead of a lid to cover a pot when making the coulis for The Soft-Boiled Eggs With Bacon-Infused Sweet Potatoes and Parsley Coulis. The paper circle (sometimes called a cartouche), which nestles against the food, creates the perfect balance of moisture retention and evaporation, whereas a lid merely traps liquid and steam. We found that this technique is also good for poaching delicate fruit like pears or apples. Here's how to create it.
1. Fold a rectangular sheet of parchment paper in half lengthwise.
2. Fold the paper in half, widthwise, so that it is in quarters. The resulting rectangle will have two folded sides and two open sides.
3. Place the paper in front of you so that the longer folded side is on the left and the shorter is at the bottom. Fold the bottom of the paper up to meet the longer folded side, creating a triangle.
4. Fold two more times in the same direction to make a slender triangle.
5. Align the tip of the triangle with the center of the pot. Cut off the back of the paper triangle where it meets the rim of the pot and discard.
6 Unfold the circle and tuck it into the pot, gently pressing it against the ingredients.