At the time of this writing and after writing last month’s column, I certainly didn’t expect that we would still be needing to take all the safety precautions necessary to social distance, preventing ourselves and everyone else from getting this very serious virus. From the start of the New York closedown I really didn’t have a hard time staying home. I was able to get out walking with friends (6ft apart) and got to the grocery store once every 10 days or so. Not too bad...until mid-May when I fell and fractured my hip. I have been unable to walk on two feet or drive since surgery. The only time I get out is to go to the doctors. No fun. But in time (WHEN??) I’ll be healed.
Fortunately, I am functioning very well, though hopping on one foot gets seriously tiring as I am someone who is usually on the move, even in the house. It took a few weeks to be able to stand in the kitchen long enough to actually cook. The easiest for me has been roasting everything on one pan in the oven. Since most of you probably don’t use an oven on the boat, the grill is a good substitute. There are so many good recipes for getting a whole meal wrapped in one foil packet. Below I listed some that I have tried and liked. To make your life easier, you can prep these at home so you can just pop them on the grill when ready to eat. I always use heavy duty foil. If you don’t have any use 2-3 layers of regular foil.
Red Snapper with Potatoes and Spinach
2 Tb. of olive oil
3-4 Yukon Gold potatoes, very thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups of spinach leaves
4 red snapper fillets (or other mild thin fillets)
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
12 basil leaves
Cut 4 16” pieces of aluminum foil and lay them on your work surface. Brush the center of each piece with some of the olive oil.
Arrange 4 or 5 potato slices in the center of each piece and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place about a cup of spinach on top of the potatoes and then a snapper fillet, skin side down, on top of that. Season again with the salt and pepper.
Next layer tomato slices over the fish and then basil leaves. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on each stack. Bring the long ends of the foil together and fold them tightly several times. Then fold up the sides to make a neat, sealed packet. If not using immediately, place them in a sealable container and refrigerate up to 6 hours.
When ready to eat, prepare your grill. Once hot, place the packets on the grill and cook for about 14 minutes. When done, open them carefully to avoid the escaping steam. Serves 4.
Smoked Bratwurst with Sauerkraut
1 lb. of smoked bratwursts, cut into 1” pieces
8 small red potatoes, but into 1/2” rounds
2 cups of sauerkraut, undrained
1/4 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of course grainy mustard
1 tsp. of caraway seeds
Cut 4 16” pieces of foil. In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Divide the mixture between the 4 sheets of foil. Bring the long ends of the foil together and fold them tightly several times. Then fold up the sides to make a neat, sealed packet. If making ahead, refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
Prepare your grill and when ready, place the packets on the rack and cook for about 14 minutes, turning the packet over once. When done, open them carefully to avoid the escaping steam. Serves 4.
Shrimp Couscous with Avocado Mango Salsa
Olive or vegetable oil cooking spray
6 oz spinach (about 8 cups), roughly chopped
1-1/3 cups of couscous (uncooked), (not
1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/4 lbs. of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2-1/2 Tb. of fresh lime juice, divided
2 1/2 Tb. of olive oil, divided
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. of ground cumin
1 jar of your favorite mango salsa
1 large avocado, peeled and diced
Preheat a gas grill over medium-high heat to about 450 degrees.
Cut 8 sheets of 14 by 12-inch heavy duty aluminum foil. Layer two sheets of foil per packet, with each sheet of foil going opposite directions. (you should have 4 packets total). Spray center of top 4 pieces of foil with vegetable or olive oil spray. Layer spinach over each packet.
In a bowl toss together couscous and broth and season lightly with salt, divide couscous among each packet placing it over spinach.
Toss the shrimp with 1-1/2 tablespoons of the lime juice, 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 cup cilantro, garlic and cumin, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide shrimp among packets layering over couscous. Wrap foil and crimp edges to seal tightly, then grill sealed side up until shrimp and couscous have cooked through, about 12 - 14 minutes.
While the packets are grilling, pour the mango salsa into a serving bowl. Mix in the diced avocado. Again, one the packets are grilled, open carefully. Garnish with the salsa. Serves 4.
I’m always thinking about those of you who are out enjoying your boats (not happy at missing work at the harbor this summer!!), I am hoping that you are getting the most out of the season despite travel restrictions.