Cooking with foil

Cleanup has never been easier.

Wrap it up: These recipes use aluminum foil, which packs in flavor and makes cleanup a breeze.

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

Aluminum foil was first used in the United States in 1913 to wrap Life Savers, candy bars and gum. Many Scouts have fond memories of tasty food cooked on a campfire using foil packets (also known as hobo packs). Foil packets make for easy cleanup.

FOILED COD AND VEGETABLE PACKETS

1¾ lb. cod fillets, boneless, divided into 4

Salt and pepper to taste

1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into ½-inch slices (about 1½ cups)

1½ cups celery, thin sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup onions, chopped

5 scallions, sliced thin, include some green

¼ cup fresh basil leaves

½ cup fresh thyme sprigs

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

¼ cup white wine

Juice from one-half lemon

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

4 Tbsp. butter, divided

Paprika

4 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil

Lay out four 15-inch pieces of foil on work area.

Place one fillet in center of each foil. Season with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, combine the zucchini, celery, garlic, onions, scallions, basil, thyme, parsley, wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Top each fillet with one-fourth of this vegetable mixture, and 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle each with paprika.

Fold foil over at the top, and fold again, crimping edges together, allowing space for heat circulation. Fold up each side and crimp to seal packets.

Oven: Preheat to 450 degrees.

Put oven rack on lowest position.

Arrange packets in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and fish is cooked.

Grill: Put packets on grill over medium heat. Cover grill.

Cook for 10 minutes, rotate one-half turn, cover, and continue to cook for 10–15 minutes until vegetables and fish are done.

Carefully peel open packets to release the steam.

The following side dish is a good accompaniment to the cod.

SWEET POTATO FOIL PACKETS

4 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 Tbsp. honey

½ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. cinnamon

4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes

4 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil

Lay out 4 sheets of heavy-duty foil cut into four 12×12-inch pieces.

In a bowl, mix the butter, honey, salt, cayenne and cinnamon.

Add the diced sweet potatoes to the butter mixture and mix well.

Divide mixture evenly among these four foil sheets.

Fold foil over at the top, fold again, and crimp edges together, allowing space for heat circulation. Fold up each side and crimp to seal packets.

Oven: Preheat to 450 degrees.

Put foil packets on a baking sheet.

Bake for 20–25 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Grill: Put packets on grill over medium heat. Cover grill.

Cook for 10 minutes and then rotate one-half turn, cover, and continue to cook for 10–15 minutes longer until potatoes are done.

Carefully peel open packets to release the steam.

Can’t forget dessert!

FOILED APPLE BETTY

4 cups apple slices, peeled (2 large apples)

2 Tbsp. orange juice

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup white sugar

½ cup flour

¼ cup old-fashioned oatmeal

¾ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

dash of salt

½ cup butter

4 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil

Lay out 4 sheets of heavy-duty foil cut into four 12×12-inch pieces.

Spray with oil.

Divide apple slices among sheets. Sprinkle each with ½ tablespoon orange juice.

In a bowl, combine sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Divide and sprinkle crumbs over apples.

Fold foil over at the top, fold again, and crimp edges together, allowing space for heat circulation. Fold up each side. Crimp to seal packets.

Oven: Preheat to 450 degrees.

Bake 20–25 minutes on cookie sheet or until done.

Grill: Put packets on grill over medium heat. Cover grill.

Cook for 20–25 minutes or until done.

Carefully peel open packets to release the steam.

And that’s a wrap!

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

Don’t forget:

Send in your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $100 ShopRite gift card. Mail your recipe to Readers’ Recipes, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Or email your recipe to WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com. Please include name, address and telephone number.