My family used to camp a lot growing up. And one thing that I always loved about camping was the food. It sounds really weird I am know, but it was amazing. Everything was cooked over a fire or on a grill. Amazing. One meal that I absolutely loved was when we made foil dinners. We would put meat, potatoes, and some kind of vegetable in foil and then toss it in the fire. It was so delicious and easy. And it was actually something I carried over to my college years sans the camping -- I would just make them on my grill.
I am not fortunate to have a grill in NYC. Unless I want to put it on my fire escape (pretty sure that's illegal). But I discovered this summer that you don't even have to have a grill to whip up this yummy dinner. You actually don't even have to use the stove which is pretty awesome if it's a hot and humid day (I'm not fortunate enough to have central air either).
So here's the foil dinner recipe that I use without a grill (and sometimes without the stove).
- Spices & Seasonings (I usually use seasoned salt, oregano, rosemary, pepper. Sometimes I use a little chiili powder or cayenne pepper if I'm feeling spicy. I also love to use fresh herbs from our little herb garden, but they don't always grow fast enough. You are free to use whatever combination you like. Get crazy.)
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced (I definitely recommend this)
- Olive oil
- Onion, chopped (I also recommend this. I think I end up using about 1/2 of a large onion when all is said and done)
- Potatoes (I use one per person)
- Vegetables (I love fresh carrots and green beans, but you can use any you like. You can also use frozen.)
- Meat (I love doing this with any kind of sausage, ground beef works so well too, just make it into a patty. I am certain you could use other meats as well. I just haven't tried it.)
*I didn't put exact quantities of each ingredient on purpose. It really depends on what you like. If you want lots of veggies, use them. If you like more potatoes, add them. Go heavier on the garlic or onion or whatever. This recipe can easily be adjusted for your specific tastes. Which is one of the things I love about it.
Here's what to do.
1. Chop potatoes and vegetables and place in a bowl.
2. Add seasonings.
I usually start with about 1 tsp of each and then increase once it's all mixed if I feel it's necessary.
3. Add olive oil and mix together.
I fail here because I honestly can't tell you how much I put in. I usually just drizzle and mix. If you start with 1 Tablespoon and add more as necessary, you should be fine. You just want enough to coat everything, but not have a lot left in the bottom of the bowl.
4. Give it a little taste.
I usually just taste a little off the side of the bowl. It's hard to get a good idea since everything gets mixed in together, but I always like to make sure it tastes well-seasoned and not too salty.
5. Put the mixture in foil.
I usually just make a few foil squares and then spoon the mixture in. I try to make sure they are all even, but I don't think it really matters.
6. Add the meat.
You can do this one of two ways (and also depends on what kind of meat you use). You can either just pile it on top of the mixture that you've spooned into the foil or you can add it to the bowl and give it a little stir. Then just add the whole mixture to the foil. I don't recommend the later when you're using ground beef, but it works well with the sausage.
7. Wrap those babies up and throw them in the toaster oven.
I usually set it for about 400 degrees and let them go for an hour. If you prefer the stove it's basically the same gig -- about 350 - 400 degrees for an hour. You will know they are done when the potatoes are soft. I don't usually check the other stuff because I figure if the potatoes are done so is everything else.
8. Eat it up.
So good! (sorry I don't have a better picture of the finished product)