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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday Recipe - Foil Dinners

From a family trip a few years ago
Remember those camping trips? Sitting around the fire cooking foil dinners. The smell of the pine trees. The peace and quiet. It's getting harder to re-create those memories. Cell phones are everywhere. Electronics follow us wherever we go. We were at a campground in southern Utah a few years ago, just enjoying the peace and quiet, except the birds in the area were all mimicking cell phone ringtones.

But if we can't go camping the same way we used to, we can at least re-create the meals. These are simple and easy to throw together. They're also very easy to individualize. Feel free to mix it up whichever way you want.

Foil Dinners

For each dinner:
1/2 c. thinly sliced potatoes
1/3 c. hamburger
seasonings - salt, pepper, barbecue sauce, worcestershire sauce, cheese, onions, garlic, etc.
1/2 c. assorted vegetables - mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, bell pepper, etc - thin sliced
aluminum foil
cooking spray

Use a sheet of foil about a foot square for each dinner. Spray the foil with the cooking spray. Pile the potatoes in the middle, spreading out so they are thinner in the center than on the edges. Pat the hamburger into a patty and put it in the middle of the potatoes. Add whatever seasonings you like on top of the patty - onions, salt and pepper are the basic seasonings. Any sauces you like on your hamburgers would work here, even ketchup and mustard. Just spread them on top of the raw patty. Add whatever vegetables you like on top. Fold the foil together at the top, rolling it over a couple of times to make a nice seam. Fold in the edges to make a sealed packet.

Choose your cooking method -
Fire - place the packet on coals towards the edges of the firepit. You don't want a really hot spot. Let the packet cook for about fifteen minutes. Flip the packet and cook for another ten minutes. Remove it from the fire and let it sit for another ten minutes. Open it carefully to check for doneness - potatoes should be tender and the hamburger should be fully cooked. You may need a little less time based on how hot the coals are and how thin you make the packet. A thin packet will cook faster than a thick one.

Grill - place the packet on a medium grill. Close the lid and let it cook for about fifteen minutes. Turn it over and let it cook another five minutes or so. Remove it from the grill and open carefully to check for doneness. Potatoes should be tender and hamburger should be completely cooked.

Oven - bake at 375° for about 25 minutes. Check for doneness. Cook another ten to fifteen minutes if needed.

You can add shredded cheese and more sauces and toppings after it's cooked if you want more of a burger meal. Some shredded lettuce, fresh tomatoes, and pickles go really well on top.