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Pouch (foil or parchment paper) cooking


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As cabin time is increasing, I'm looking for some pouch cooking ideas -- easy for the kids to prep, minimal clean-up, and can be done either on the grill or in the oven (depending on weather).

Name your favorite combinations, and what things work well together in terms of cooking time.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I'm constantly doing light-flavored fish (sole, cod, tilapia) with vegetables and aromatics. I typically do a bunch of asparagus, topped with some garlic, the fish, some fresh ginger, other vegetables (halved grape tomatoes, zucchini, carrot sticks, green beans, whatever!), lemon juice, salt and pepper. Chives or other fresh herbs are good, too. Wrap it up, bake for 10-20 minutes, depending on the fish, and it's done. You end up with a fair amount of tasty juices on the bottom of the foil, which you can pour over rice/grains, if you choose. There is absolutely no clean up, as you don't have any cookware (that is, if you forego the rice). We eat this a couple times a month.

Dean McCord


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I tend to do boneless skineless chicken breast or mild white fish with:

-tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, olives artichoke hearts and capers (maybe some feta if I have it)

-soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, minced ginger and whatever vegetables are around (mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, onion, quartered baby bok choy- just cut so they cook in approximately equal time)

-olive oil, touch of balsamic, S&P, fresh thyme and thinly sliced potatoes

-salsa and black beans with julliened bell peppers

I tend not to use cruciferous vegetables in my packets (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)

I also surprisingly don't do salmon very often in parchment. I think it's because I love crispy salmon skin :wub: But I bet I'm missing out on something good.

I typically cook in a preheated 350-375 F oven for 15-20 minutes. Depends on the thickness and delicateness of the protein.

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Years ago, I used to do peppered steak with gruyere on top and a dash of white wine in an aluminium foil pouch. There was probably some onion in there too, I can't remember exactly.

But my favourite thing to cook in a pouch is cubes of potatoes, with chopped onion, some crushed garlic, salt and pepper and a knob of butter. When you open the pouch, the smell of caramelised onions wafts out. The bits stuck to the foil are the best and well worth the extra effort to remove.

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The bits stuck to the foil are the best and well worth the extra effort to remove.

I couln't agree more! We do vegetable packets on the grill: mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and potatoes. I leave mine on for about 10 minutes longer than the rest becasue I love the bottom veg. to get just a little burned. Sounds weird, but I love it.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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Thanks for the suggestions, and keep them coming. What's appealing about this to me is that if everyone had their own packet, they could season however they want! Short order cooking, with the kids being the short order cooks!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I think that these types of packets work best with some strong flavored items such as olives, capers, etc added in, otherwise they can be bland. I agree with many of Sony's recommendations. I like to put par-cooked potatoes in with all my packets so they are a complete meal. A really good one I made recently was fingerling potatoes, cod, and clams with white wine and saffron.

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Chick in the garden

boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/4 cup rice

quartered tomatoes

rough chopped sweet onion

cut up carrots

thick sliced zucchini

fresh thyme

fresh oregano

splash of wine or chicken broth

knob of butter

Wrap in foil and grill or bake in oven


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My fave is pheasant breasts stuffed with goats cheese and thyme.

Basically just remove the mini fillet from both breasts and lay one breast on the oiled bottom of the parcel, then add a nice layer of soft goats cheese and thymelay the other breast on top then add 2-3 sundried tomatoes( the ones in EVOO) to the top then wrap n roast.

"It's true I crept the boards in my youth, but I never had it in my blood, and that's what so essential isn't it? The theatrical zeal in the veins. Alas, I have little more than vintage wine and memories." - Montague Withnail.

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Susan, we love the pouches!

Here's some family salmon in parchment from a few days ago (you might have seen it on the Dinner? thread)





Those three thai peppers were too much even for me, so I suggested a round of follow up yogurt beverages.

I find teriyaki salmon to be one of the best combos on earth. I have been caught drinking right out of the Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce bottle. We only had soy so I added a bit of sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic and ginger. And I like daikon raw with a bit of coarse salt rather than cooked as it was here.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I actually make these in bulk and freeze them so when I come home from work a little late getting dinner ready isn’t a problem. Some of my favourites are: -

White fish, olives (black or green), sun dried tomatoes onion and olive oil.

Chicken (I use boneless thighs) fresh garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.

Chicken, garlic, ginger, light soy sauce, shitake mushroom slices, sesame oil.

Take them out of the freezer and put in a hot oven for 20 mins.

Meanwhile cut up a few vegies, parboil for 5 mins rinse and toss in a hot wok with a little butter, salt and pepper.

These are extremely quick meals and they are healthy and delicious.


Smell and taste are in fact but a single composite sense, whose laboratory is the mouth and its chimney the nose. - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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Me. too. Tis is my favorite......dunno why I like it so much but it is yummy.

Caesar Chicken

1 chicken breast, uncooked, cut into strips or chunks

1/2 c. cooked rice

2 T each finely diced sweet red pepper and red onion

2 T chopped fresh tomato

1 T shredded fresh basil

2 T Caesar salad dressing ....low fat is fine

Salt and pepper to taste


Take a square of foil, spray with nonstick spray. Put cooked rice, chicken, veggies and basil on foil, drizzle with salad dressing. Fold foil tightly to enclose...throw on low grill or 350' oven for about 20-25 min.

I could eat this 2x/week!

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My mother used to do foil packages on the grill that featured butter, potatoes, onions, and if I remember correctly (it was the 60's folks) a sprinkling of dried onion soup mix. We adored them, especially the burnt bits.

A couple of weeks ago I did Saumon en Papilotte from an ancient Martha Stewart recipe. First, you have all the fun of Valentine's Day in June, cutting parchment paper into heart shapes. It was hilariously simple and old school: place salmon steak on one half of the heart, previously spread with a gram of olive oil. Salt, pepper, a tiny splash of white wine, a couple of sprigs from the herb garden (thyme and lemon verbena in my case) crimp, place on cookie sheet. Twenty minutes in a 350 oven. Unwrap, sniff the glorious steam: perfect poached salmon with a little dinnertable drama as each diner unwrapped his own. If you have some fish, a rainy day at the cabin and can't grill, I think all your sous chefs could have fun with this.

(Thanks all, for the terrific ideas, people. )

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel


A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites


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I don't know why I never thought of making packets in bulk and freezing them. I've never done much packet cooking, but it now strikes me as a great idea.

If the cooked rice develops a nice crusty texture, it seems like this could be a good idea for utterly bastardized dolsot bibimbap (for lack of a better name); if I could adapt my usual recipe from the Orange Page with gochujang, soy, sesame oil, mirin, chile flakes, meat and some veg to a freezable packet state, I'd be a very happy camper.

We get our CSA box tonight. I'll have to see if there's anything in there to go with the meats I've already got to make up into packets.

Thanks for the thread full of great ideas (again)!


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dockhl:  I'm intrigued by the idea of rice.  Just regular plain cooked rice?  Did you put it on the bottom and get a nice rice crust?

Yep, plain ole rice. It is so darned tasty............... you can get a nice crust (I usually can't wait that long :raz: ) Nice size, too. One is fine if you aren't too hungry but two isn't really too much so that you'd feel grossly overfed.

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