Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hobo Stew

Secret ingredient = fire.
Fire makes food taste good. It's a fact.

When it comes to potatoes, they are exponentially better when roasted than when boiled or fried. When you roast potatoes on a fire, they are, in my opinion, the best they can be. Thank goodness I was a girl scout and learned to make hobo stew! There's plenty that's weird about scouting, and sometimes wrapping your food in foil and covering it in charcoals seems like one of those funny scout things. But if you've had this fire stew, you understand.

It's simple: cut up your onions, potatoes, celery, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, seitan, drizzle with olive oil, a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put everything on a double layer of foil, and fold it into a secure packet. Snuggle that packet into the coals of a fire, and sit back and enjoy the heat.

Maybe it's the pleasure of sitting outside by a fire that makes the food taste better. It's pleasant, surely, especially when you have a beer and the sun is setting and opossums wander by, but even when I eat leftovers (which I make sure there are), they taste better than if they were cooked indoors.

When the foil is blackened, flip the packet. The veggies will cook faster than they do in the oven. When you unwrap the foil packet, avoid the burning steam, then enjoy the tastiest "stew" possible. These days, it doesn't matter what we're grilling, we always prepare a packet of potatoes, onions, and garlic to fire roast, and enjoy later. Great payoff for two minutes of prep!

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