Fabulous Foil Packet Ideas
As we get closer to fall, schedules become busier. But, the weather is still warm and there's plenty of time left for grilling, maybe even camping. If you're camping, and don't have all the accouterments of a gourmet (let alone ordinary) kitchen at your disposal. Cooking over an open fire doesn't mean you need to eat hot dogs for every meal.
One of the simplest and most delicious ways to prepare outdoor eats is utilizing the super versatile foil packet. It allows you to cook right over the fire, and there's virtually no cleanup, since you can eat your meal directly out of the foil “dish." Simply prepare the packets ahead of time and toss them in your cooler before you hit the road. Because these meals are so simple, you barely need recipes, but here are some ideas to get you started.
Bake up some seafood. For an all-in-one meal reminiscent of a New England seashore, start with a piece of white fish (like cod) and a few raw shrimp. Add sliced red potatoes and a piece of corn on the cob, halved. Include a dollop of butter with salt, pepper and fresh parsley or dill. Wrap tightly in foil; then cook for about half an hour.
Pro Tip: Use heavy-duty foil for outdoor cooking. If you run out of heavy-duty foil, just double up the regular kind. Size the pieces of foil generously; you want plenty of extra to fold over the edges and seal in heat.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Cut a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into small pieces and season generously with garlic, lemon, and olive oil. Add thin potato slices and your choice of veggies for a savory campfire meal.
Pro Tip: When cooking a combination of foods, put the meat on the bottom of the foil packet so it gets more heat. Wait until the charcoal turns white hot before you start cooking; then, place the packet directly on the coals.
Veggie time. For a quick, healthy side or meal, mix zucchini, squash, carrots, green beans—just about any vegetable will work, cooked in a packet with seasonings and a little butter or oil. Pro tip: Fold your foil packet into a “tent" instead of a flat pack when cooking veggies. The extra space will allow them to steam gently. And make sure you fold your foil packet over a couple times to ensure it's tightly sealed.
Corn on the cob. Corn on the cob may be the ultimate treat in outdoor cooking. Pro Tip: It's terrific roasted in foil with no seasoning at all, but if you'd like to feel downright indulgent, add a generous dollop of butter, salt and pepper, and a bit of fresh rosemary to shucked corn. About 20 minutes in foil over hot coals should cook it nicely.
Don't forget dessert! Make the banana the star of your dessert with a banana boat. Here's how: Slice an unpeeled banana lengthwise, taking care not to cut all the way through. Fill with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap banana in foil and cook for about 5 minutes over heat. Unwrap it and top with your choice of crunchy sweet cereal, like Golden Grahams or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Your little campers will be begging for another outdoor adventure before you get home.