Saturday, January 21, 2017

Foil Dinners

This isn't so much a recipe as a set of guidelines and ideas for making your own. There are about a million different ways to make foil dinners and they're so easy and can be customized for every member of the family. I'll tell you how I usually do it and also give some other ideas. Then have at it yourself to make it the way you like it.

You start with about a 2-foot-long piece of aluminum foil. I recommend the non-stick kind, but you can use the ordinary kind with a little spray of non-stick cooking spray in the middle.

Add your raw meat first. I use a hamburger patty. You could use chopped steak or cut up a beef roast or even use a chicken breast instead. Season the meat as you prefer. I like the Kroger brand hamburger seasoning or McCormick's Montreal Steak seasoning on hamburgers. Then just put the meat in the center of the foil.

Next add potatoes. I recommend red potatoes with the skin on cut into bite-sized chunks. You can use yellow potatoes or russets too. They can be chunks or wedges or those tiny little whole potatoes. Mix a little butter or olive oil with the seasonings of your choice. I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, and either rosemary or Mrs. Dash. Toss the potatoes in the oil and seasonings until coated and pile them on top of the meat.

Add veggies of your choice. Carrots and celery are my favorites to go with hamburger. My husband and I are not big fans of onion, but if you like onion, it would work well in this. You could do broccoli with chicken. Be creative and use what you have. Just chop the veggies into smaller pieces as needed and pile on top of the potatoes.

Then when you're done, take the ends of the foil and pull them up over the top and crease them together, then roll them over a couple of times to make them stay. Take the sides of the foil and fold or roll them up until you have a bundle of foil that is relatively sealed, with all the food inside. Place on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.

That's it! When it's done, it's ready to serve. There may be some oil and liquid in the bottom of the foil, so be sure to keep a tray or plate under it at all times or it will make a mess. You can eat it out of the foil or transfer the contents to a plate (which I recommend).

Not only can you customize this recipe to your preference, but you can customize it for every member of the family. If some of you like onions and others don't or you have a child who doesn't like celery or different people like different seasonings on their meat or potatoes, it's easy to make everyone happy. Each person's meal is in a separate piece of foil, so it's easy to make them different if you want to. You can even have the kids prepare their own if they're old enough. Then just put all the foil bundles on cookie sheets and cook them at the same time.

It's great for singles too who want to make several meals at once with minimal time invested and yet don't want every day's meal to be exactly alike.

If you have a person with allergies, this also allows you to make their food different by leaving out things they are allergic to while everyone else can have it in theirs. If allergies are an issue, be sure to put the special foil dinner on a different cookie sheet or baking pan as liquid may run out of the bundles and thus cross-contamination could occur.

Hopefully, you'll have fun making foil dinners as they're an easy solution for dinner that makes everyone happy. Be sure to leave a comment if you find an especially helpful tip or combination that you would like to share. Enjoy!

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