Campfire Cod En Papillote with Grilled “Ratatouille”

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With only a handful of weeks left of bright nights and summer heat, my family decided to squeeze in a last minute camping trip. Now, I know camping isn’t for everyone, but those who love it know that part of what makes camping fun is being able to cook outdoors. I may be used to my well-stocked kitchen at home or at work, but I absolutely love cooking dinner with only a few ingredients and a small arsenal of equipment while being underneath the trees, the stars, and campfire smoke. Even though I may not have my usual tools, I still try to make our campfire dinners just as exciting as those at home. This recipe is a family favorite! And what’s great about this particular campfire recipe is that it works just as well at home in your own kitchen, or on a grill in your backyard!

img_3825Cod En Papillote

Yields 2 portions

Ingredients:

  • 2-5 oz. portions of cod (or your favorite white fish), skinless and deboned
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tbsp. of your favorite white wine (enjoy the rest around the campfire!)
  • ½ lemon, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 large pieces of parchment paper
  • 4 large pieces of sturdy aluminum foil

Lay the pieces of parchment paper flat on a table. Place the cleaned fish in the center of the paper. Sprinkle the fish with salt, pepper, and wine. Place the thyme, half of the garlic and shallots, and 2-3 slices of lemon on top of the fish.img_3826

To wrap the fish properly, bring the long ends of the parchment paper together and crimp down around the fish. Twist up the ends of the parchment paper to completely seal in the fish. Repeat this process twice more with each fillet, enclosing the parchment packets in two layers of aluminum foil.

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“En Papillote” means in parchment. Who knew campfire cooking could be fancy!

The key to cooking this fish is getting the campfire embers nice and hot. When the embers are ready, spread them in an even layer on the campfire pit floor. Place the wrapped fish on top of the embers and cook for 3 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook for additional 3 minutes.

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While the embers get hot, start grilling your veg on the grill.

Remove the pouches from the fire and let cool until you’re able to open the aluminum foil and parchment paper. Serve with grilled ratatouille.

Grilled “Ratatouille”

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Yields 2 portions

Ingredients:

  • ½ red onion
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 15 grape tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • salt and pepper

img_3824My interpretation here of ratatouille takes some of the typical ingredients and grills them over an open campfire. Start by slicing all of the vegetables in ½ inch pieces. I like to lay a piece of aluminum foil over the campfire grill because the grate seems to be too large at times and I end up losing precious food to the hot fire. Toss all of the vegetables with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the vegetables over the fire and grill for 20-30 minutes, depending on the heat your fire is giving off. Make sure to keep an eye on different areas of the grill – some spots may be hotter than others, so you should move your vegetables around occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Enjoy those crispy, grilled vegetables with your cod en papillote and a glass of cool, white wine as the sun goes down.

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Want to do this at home? Just throw the fish (with the same “en papillote” preparation) in a 400°F oven for 7 minutes.

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Don’t waste that campfire while you eat dinner – sprinkle sliced pineapple with cinnamon and grill for 3-4 minutes on both sides.

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