I sense a new obsession coming on…and it’s food grilled in foil packets! What could be more perfect for outdoor cookouts, camping trips, and upcoming long holiday weekends? I just love the unique presentation and tasty goodness of this cooking technique and can’t wait to make them again and again and again this summer. Think of this dish as “deconstructed kabobs” that basically marinates in the homemade sauce until cooking time. Once you are ready to cook simply throw them on the grill or directly into the hot coals of a campfire (or backyard fire pit). I can’t think of a better way to soak up the great outdoors!
Sponsor Shoutout: The Fresh 20
Before you dig in though I want to make sure you know about our meal planning and cookbook sponsor, The Fresh 20. They offer a meal planning service and now a cookbook that both consist of weekly dinner plans that can be made from just 20 fresh ingredients. Meal planning can take a lot of time out of your schedule, not to mention wasted food or failed recipes, so why not take out the guesswork and let someone like The Fresh 20 do all the planning for you? Many of our readers already use their service and tell me they are very happy with it. Plus now that their cookbook is out I can’t think of a better way to get a good idea of what to expect from their weekly service!
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1¼ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt + extra for sprinkling
- 1½ pounds meat (chicken, beef, or combination), cut into 1½" to 2" dice
- 1 bell pepper (any color), cut into 1" dice
- 1 onion (we prefer red onion in this recipe but another variety will work), cut into 1" dice
- 2 small zucchini, cut into 1" dice
- 1 medium white potato, cut into ¼" to ½" dice
- 8 oz baby bella or white button mushrooms, left whole
- 1 to 2 jalapeños, diced small (optional but recommended...they mellow when cooked)
- pepper, to taste
- note: requires aluminum foil
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, and spices. Set aside.
- Cut 8 large pieces (about 14-16" long each) of foil and lay them out double stacked (to form sort of a plus sign shape) to start 4 grill packets. At this point you can line them with parchment paper if desired - simply put a single layer just on top of the foil. Evenly distribute the diced meat and veggies onto each stack of foil and somewhat "flatten" out the contents for even cooking. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then finish off each packet with equal amounts of marinade drizzled right on top.
- Carefully bring up two of the long sides of the foil so the edges meet at the center. Fold the two edges over together at least three times. Fold up the edges on the open sides at least two to three times and crimp those together with your fingers as well - if you are throwing these onto the campfire coals (directly on the fire is not recommended) you do not want any chance of ashes making their way inside!
- Let the food marinate for a minimum of 1 to 2 hours. Grill the packets over (or in the coals of) an open fire flipping them once until the meat is cooked to desired doneness, about 20 to 25 minutes total. Carefully open each foil packet to let steam release before eating. Serve as is and enjoy!
5/23/13 Update: For those interested in learning more about why we think it’s okay to occasionally cook with foil you may find this scientific article helpful.