It’s been quite awhile since I’ve shared any recipes on here, but I hope you’ll indulge me a bit with the rare food post, because it is still something I love doing. And since we’re smack in the center of prime outdoor cooking season, I wanted to share 3 simple, but amazing foil packet sides you can cook on the grill, over a fire or even in the oven if you prefer. Versatility is key, and prepping in advance will save you a lot of trouble come meal time.
• To create larger packets, for group and family sharing, use extra wide, heavy-duty foil.
• Foil rips easily, especially on a grill grate or on top of coals in a fire. Use two or even three layers to prevent leakage should the outer layer rip, and also to reduce the intense heat and decrease burning.
• Embrace the rustic and imperfect nature of foil cooking. The purpose of it is so you can enjoy the outdoors and not worry about dinner!
• For packets with a lot of liquid in them, use a baking sheet to form your foil packet so the liquid doesn’t spill out.
1. Potatoes, Bacon & Kale (serves 6)
• 2 lbs new potatoes, medium dice
• 4 cups baby kale (or regular kale, washed thoroughly, stems removed and greens chopped)
• 10 pieces thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped
• 1 small sweet onion, diced
• 5 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 tsp salt
• 2 tsp ground black pepper
• 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, toss together to mix evenly and pour onto foil. Fold tightly and cook on indirect heat for 30-40 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
2. Shrimp & Sausage Brown Rice Jambalaya (serves 8)
• 1 lb 16-20 deveined shrimp
• 5 links andouille sausage, sliced
• 1 medium sweet onion, diced
• 1 green bell pepper, diced
• 1 red bell pepper, diced
• 2 stalks celery, small diced
• 1 14oz can fire roasted, diced tomatoes
• 6 sprigs thyme (leaves removed if preferred, though that can be a pain so I just toss them in and instruct people not to eat the stems)
• 4 sprigs oregano, leaves only
• 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
• 3 cups instant brown rice (this is important – regular brown rice takes too long to cook and everything will burn before the rice becomes tender)
• 1 lemon, sliced and deseeded (another thing to instruct people not to eat)
• 5 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1.5 cups chicken stock
• 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
• 2 tsp salt
• 2 tsp black pepper
• 1 Tbsp liquid smoke (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, toss together to mix evenly and pour onto foil. Fold tightly and cook on indirect heat for 40-50 minutes, until rice is tender and no excess liquid remains.
3. Lemon Berry Cobbler (serves 8)
• 16oz fresh strawberries
• 1 pint fresh blueberries
• 1/2 pint fresh blackberries
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 80z cream cheese
• 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Lemon Cake mix
• 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Toss the berries with the sugar and salt and let sit for 20 minutes. Add cream cheese in small cubes and toss together. Pour in cake mix, along with the melted butter and toss together. Pour onto foil and cook over indirect heat for 30-40 minutes. Best served with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.
You can see in the above picture that all of the burners directly under a foil packet were turned to low, and the other was turned to high to create an oven effect once the lid was closed. If you feel a certain packet may burn, turn its burner off and allow the ambient heat to continue cooking it more gently. If cooking over coals, use fewer coals than you would a faster cooking, smaller tinfoil dinner.
Which one sounds best to you and where would you cook it? Any fun camping trips or cookouts you could use these at? Would love to hear all about it, and I hope y’all are having as great of a summer as we are. Take care, Internet friends!
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