It’s that time of year when Mother Nature cannot make up her mind about which season it is. We go from freezing to late Spring in a matter of days and then reverse course. But last Sunday, it felt like we moved into solid Spring territory. The robins were chirping, the plants were beginning to wake up, it was sunny and 70 F (21 C). It was perfect weather for grilling out, and I do love grilling. Hubby makes some mean grill food, but it probably tops my list because it means MOMMA DOESN’T HAVE TO COOK. 😊
One of my favorite grillables is anything that can be assembled in, cooked in, and eaten out of an individual foil packet – I can include the ingredients someone likes, exclude disliked ones, and MOMMA DOESN’T HAVE TO CLEAN UP. I was in a seafood mood, but the rest of the family was feeling steak, so we compromised and came up with these awesome surf-and-turf-and-potatoes packs.
A rainbow of little (sometimes called “new”, “baby” or “fingerling”) potatoes formed the foundation. Prep involves scrubbing and quartering the little suckers, and then parboiling them for 5-7 minutes to kind of pre-soften them. They don’t spend enough time on the grill to cook through fully, but I promise this is the most cooking off the grill that needs to happen.
Of course we needed shrimp from the surf and some steak from the turf, but what else to include? We decided on some thick slices of red onion and some mini ears of corn on the cob. The result was a mixture that looked pretty similar to a low-country shrimp boil, so that seemed the most logical way to season all this yumminess. Old Bay, cumin, parsley and garlic, come on down!
Old Bay seasoning is pretty much a blend onto itself, originally formulated here on the East Coast. If it isn’t available where you are, fret not, there are plenty of great homemade recipes available on the web. If you can’t find – or don’t have – all the ingredients on hand, it’s okay. It’s a very forgiving spice. Just use a base of celery salt (2 parts), paprika (1 part – smoked is best if you have it), black pepper and dry mustard (1/2 parts), and add a pinch (or two, depending how much you are mixing up) of cinnamon and ground cayenne. It will approximate the flavor pretty well. You can substitute the garlic salt for garlic powder or the celery salt for seed/ground celery if sodium is a dietary concern – just remember that potatoes soak up a LOT of the salty taste, so you may have to season after cooking to personal taste.
Mix that all up with your potatoes, onions, peeled and deveined shrimp, and a steak cubed into about 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces. This gets evenly divided onto your large squares of foil and accompanied by one or two mini corn coated with some butter.
Fold these packs up tightly and throw them on the grill, then serve garnished with chopped fresh parsley.
Our full Recipe makes 6 servings:
- 1 lb ( 450 grams) sirloin steak, trimmed of fat
- 1 lb (450 grams) shrimp, uncooked, peeled and deveined
- 1 red onion, cut in half, then thirds
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Old Bay spice mix
- 1 ½ tsp (10 mL) garlic salt
- ½ tsp (2.5 mL) cumin
- 1.5 lbs (675 grams) baby potatoes
- 10 mini ears corn on the cob
- Butter for the corn
- 5-10 parsley stems for garnish, leaves removed and chopped
Prepare as directed above; scrub and quarter potatoes and parboil 5-7 mins. Add peeled and deveined shrimp, cubed steak, and cut onions to pot with drained potatoes and all seasonings except parsley. Mix thoroughly. Divide onto foil packs, and add 1-2 mini ears of corn, buttered and seasoned. Seal well and grill over medium high heat 5-7 mins. per side. Top with the chopped fresh parsley before serving.
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