Backwoods Boil

A Campsite Dinner That Tastes Like Mid-Atlantic Summers


Home : Eats By Photo by Will Taylor

Foil-packet cooking is nothing new to campsite culinary practices. A self-contained bundle of food is not only easier to prepare and easier to cook, but also easier to clean up. But if you need ideas, The New Camp Cookbook, published earlier this month, contains crowd-fueling recipes designed to be cooked over an open fire — including a handful of foil-wrapped dinners.

Taking a cue from mid-Atlantic seafood boils, this bundle of shellfish, sausage and potatoes can be fully prepared on site, or portioned out at home, stored over ice and finished while the logs heat up. Steamed in beer and spiced with Old Bay, it’s all the fanfare and flavor of a traditional seafood boil, minus the unwieldy stock pots. And while it’s not noted in the recipe, you’d be wise to bring along some crusty bread to sop up any remnant juices.

Note: Clams and fish work equally well in these foil packets, so feel free to add as much variety of seafood as you want. They’ll cook in the same amount of time as the shrimp and scallops, too.

Tin Foil Seafood Boil

Makes four servings

Ingredients:
Olive oil spray
1 large lemon, sliced into 8 rounds
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 3/4 pound)
8 large sea scallops (about 1/2 pound)
2 ears corn, cut into quarters
8 small (new or fingerling) potatoes, halved or quartered (about 3/4 pound)
3 links andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup beer, dry white wine, or chicken broth
1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

Preparation:
1. Prepare a grill over high heat.

2. Lightly spray four sheets of aluminum foil with oil. Divide the lemon, shrimp, scallops, corn, potatoes and sausage among all four sheets, piling the ingredients in the center. Bring all four sides of the foil up to form a bowl.

3. Pour an equal amount of beer (or wine or broth) into each packet, followed by a few pats of butter and a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning. Fold the foil tightly on top to seal, leaving room inside the packet for steam and heat to circulate.

4. Grill the packets for about 15 minutes, until the seafood is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Buy the Book

The recipe above appears in The New Camp Cookbook: Gourmet Grub for Campers, Road Trippers, and Adventurers, by Linda Ly, published by Voyageur Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group. Buy Now: $17