Summer Foil Packets for the Grill

It’s summer. It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself, not spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals and washing dishes! Who am I kidding. Summer is about being busy, but it’s primarily busy with fun. Sure, we’re still working, but the evenings are spent enjoying the long sunny evenings, whether it’s just hanging out on the boat, or watching kids play summer sports, a busy summer is still time outside. But we can still eliminate the busy-work that comes with cooking and cleaning. A great option is grill packets! It’s like a one-pot-meal on the grill, or, if you’re really lucky and you’re sitting around a crackling fire, they work great just tossed to the side in the coals. It’s a full meal in relative minutes, and it’s absolutely delicious.

I’ve got a couple great grill packet options to share with you. Get some great variety with a couple simple ingredients and some fresh or frozen seafood. My personal favorite is the Grilled Shrimp Boil Foil Packet and my six-year-old son devours the Grilled Salmon and Asparagus Grill Packet, in fact, he ate two all by himself the last time I made them! It’s so nice when you can find a healthy option that the kids love to counter the multiple meals of hot dogs or pizza.

To start, thaw the shrimp and the Morey’s Seasoned Grill salmon. When the salmon is partially thawed, remove it from the easy-peel package and reserve the marinade. Remove the skin to make it easier for kids to eat later.

Light the charcoal grill or turn gas grill to medium heat.

While the seafood is thawing, cut up all the vegetables and divide them up into two large bowls, one for each recipe. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes placing one pound in the container for the shrimp packets and ½ pound for the salmon packets. Cut the corn and add it to the potatoes for the shrimp. At this point, I usually place the potatoes and corn in the microwave for about a minute, just enough soften them a bit to ensure cooking in the time it takes for the seafood to cook through. Cut the asparagus spears in thirds and cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces, and slice the onion, placing all in the bowl for the salmon. Zest one lemon, then cut it in half to use for the salmon packets. Slice a second lemon into eight slices to place on top of the Shrimp boil packets. Once the vegetables are prepared, you can begin adding the remaining ingredients.

To the shrimp bowl, add the sliced andouille sausage, shrimp, garlic, olive oil and all of the seasonings. Toss to coat. Cut four 18-inch strips of aluminum foil, spray with non-stick cooking spray and divide the mixture evenly between the four pieces. Top with lemon slices and a pat of butter. Fold the foil over the top of the food in thirds, completely covering the food, then roll each of the ends of the packet.

Add lemon zest, melted butter and seasonings to the vegetables for the salmon. Toss to coat the vegetables. Cut two 18-inch strips of aluminum foil, spray with non-stick cooking spray and divide the vegetable mixture between the two pieces of foil. Top each packet with a piece of salmon and drizzle with the reserved marinade. Squeeze lemon over the top of the packet and continue wrapping the packet as you did with the shrimp.

When the coals are ash white, place the packets on the grill and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Check the packets to ensure they are cooking evenly and adjust the packets if you have a hot-spot. Packets should be completely done cooking within 10-15 minutes. Remove the packets from the heat and serve immediately.

Enjoy this quick and delicious meal with your family this Fourth of July weekend! Whether you are at home or at the lake, this meal has minimal mess and maximum flavor!

Foil Bag 2-reduce

Grilled Shrimp Boil Foil Packets

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 smoked andouille sausages, thinly sliced
  • 2 ears corn, each cut crosswise into four pieces
  • 1 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 lemon, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Directions:
  1. Heat gas grill on medium or charcoal grill until coals are ash white.
  2. Cut four sheets of foil about 12-inches long. Divide shrimp mixture evenly over the foil sheets. Spray with non-stick cooking spray
  3. Cut corn and potatoes and place in a bowl. Add shrimp, sliced sausage, garlic, olive oil and seasonings. Toss to coat.
  4. Top with one pat of butter and a couple lemon slices.
  5. Fold the foil packet crosswise over the shrimp mixture to completely cover the food. Roll the top and bottom edges to seal them closed.
  6. Place foil packet on the grill and cook until just cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.

Grilled Salmon and Asparagus Grill Packet

Ingredients:

2 packages Morey’s Seasoned Grill Salmon

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Fisherman’s Warf seasoning (or any seasoning of your choosing)

8 ounces (10 to 16 spears) fresh asparagus, cut into thirds

½ pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cups fresh broccoli, cut small

½ cup thinly sliced onion

Fresh lemon

Directions:

  1. Heat gas grill on medium or charcoal grill until coals are ash white.
  2. Cut two sheets of foil about 12-inches long. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Cut vegetables and place in a bowl. Add butter, lemon zest and seasonings. Toss to coat.
  4. Remove skin from salmon. Reserve marinade.
  5. Divide the vegetable mixture over foil and top with salmon. Use reserve marinade to top salmon.
  6. Squeeze fresh lemon over the top of each packet.
  7. Fold the foil packet crosswise over the shrimp mixture to completely cover the food. Roll the top and bottom edges to seal them closed.
  8. Place foil packet on the grill and cook until just cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately.

Cooking From Frozen…..

Seafood is actually far more versatile than many people realize. Its had a bad rap for years as being hard to cook when in all reality, it’s not any more difficult than cooking a steak to your preferred doneness. There are many types of fish, a taste and texture for everyone. One of the great things about fish is you can cook it from frozen! Yes, you can actually cook a delicious, healthy meal from frozen and have it taste great.

Cooking from frozen means you have options; after that long day in the office or running after kids, or maybe you had classes late and the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen prepping and cooking dinner, but you also don’t want to eat out. That’s when you grab a frozen salmon fillet out of your freezer. Be sure and keep individually wrapped portions in your freezer for quick, healthy meal options. The next time you are hungry for seafood or need a quick meal option, try cooking from frozen!

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has an entire section devoted to Cooking It From Frozen on their website. Basically any method you can think of; broil, grill, poach, steam, sauté, they have directions for how to cook from frozen. Head to their website and check out their great tips. You’ll be happy you did!

http://www.wildalaskaseafood.com/cook-it-frozen-cooking-techniques/

Morey’s offers individually vacuum packed portions that are ready to cook from thawed or frozen. Both thawed and frozen directions are provided on the package for multiple cooking methods so you have options. I love options! Variety in specie, flavors and cooking methods makes Morey’s products a must have.  Whether Morey’s or maybe you like to marinade and season your own fillets, make sure you make seafood a staple in your freezer, that way the next time you are in a rush or simply don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen, grab a salmon fillet or whatever seafood you have and give cooking from frozen a try.

The important thing to remember is that seafood is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees farenheigt. Like a steak, remove it from heat just before you reach your desired temperature and let it rest and finish cooking for a couple minutes before enjoying, this will ensure a perfectly cooked piece of fish.

A few simple tips for enjoying seafood as part of your regular diet

When it comes to seafood we have all heard that it’s good for us and we should eat it but like all things, some seafood is better for us than others. There is a lot to be said for how we prepare seafood and just how “good” for us it can be. Here are just are a few tips to try when making seafood a part of your regular diet.

For instance, you know you need two servings of seafood a week as recommended by the USDA but that does not mean you should head down to the local fish fry for a weekly serving of beer battered and deep fried walleye with a baked potato loaded with butter and sour cream (or French fries). Instead head to the local seafood counter at your favorite grocery store and pick up some walleye fillets; try baking them with a little butter, salt and pepper and slices of lemon. Serve them with a lightly dressed salad or a baked potato but leave the extra butter and sour cream off this time around.

Another popular seafood item, especially on restaurant menus’, is swordfish. It is a very dense, meaty fish with a mildly sweet flavor. It’s a good source of protein and contains essential vitamins and minerals; however it also contains more mercury than your average seafood, for this reason you should limit how often you enjoy this as a part of your diet, especially if you are pregnant. If you’re looking for another dense, firm fish give halibut a try. Halibut is a good source of protein and provides your body with essential nutrients; its also a very clean tasting fish and requires very little seasoning. Most commonly this fish is boiled or grilled.

HalibutUncooked_500x333

There are a lot of seafood options available; some are healthier than others and some are simply too expensive for most people to eat as a regular part of your seafood diet. One type of seafood we don’t hear nearly enough about is mussels. While they sound interesting and may seem hard to cook, they are surprising easy to cook and quite affordable. Mussels offer a range of health benefits including being a good source of protein. The simplest way to cook mussels is to steam them on the stove stop with some white wine and fresh herbs (I like to add a little garlic too) and in a few short minutes they are done and ready to enjoy on their own or toss them with some whole grain pasta or in a salad. PS, I have also found that mussels are one of the only types of seafood I don’t mind cooking indoors because the blend of white wine and fresh herbs with a little garlic leaves my kitchen smelling simply delicious. Find your adventurous side and give mussels a try, if not at home then in your favorite restaurant that features seafood.

The next time you decide to enjoy seafood as a part of your diet, do yourself a favor and take a second look at the seafood case and try something new, you never know, you might just surprise yourself with how tasty and easy a healthy seafood meal really is to enjoy at home without the hassle and the calories of deep frying.