These two cookout sides are about as easy as it gets. Cheap ingredients + lots of flavor + minimal cleanup = a happy hostess!!! So simple, there aren’t even really recipes for either of them.
Tin Foil Potatoes
One of my favorite summer sides, a camping trip would not be the same without “camping” potatoes, as we call them in my family. Mine are never as good as my mom makes them, but delicious all the same. :)
Use heavy duty foil if you have it (I get mine in a double pack of long rolls at Costco), and make it about 3 times as long as the size of the pocket you plan to create. I generally make a packet about 12-15 inches long and 9-10 inches wide. Alternatively, you can make a couple of mediums sized packets or even smaller individual packets for each person. This can be fun for kids so they can add in their own seasonings just how they like. Hahaha, my mom always make one big packet for adults with LOTS of onions and one for the kids with NO onions!
Slice potatoes thinly, skin on, and keep them in a bowl of water until the rest are all cut. A mandolin makes quick work of this, but a sharp knife is just as good. Watch your fingers! I generally slice about 1 decent-sized medium potato per person, and add a couple extra for good measure.
While you are at it, slice up some garlic and onions. Like the potatoes, adjust your amount depending on how many people you plan to serve.
Prep the middle of foil with a little non-stick olive oil spray and some salt and pepper. Layer the potatoes on the foil with some of the onions and a few of the garlic slices. Drizzle with a little melted butter and sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
Repeat layering until you use up all the potatoes.
Bring the top and bottom edges together and tightly fold/roll down to create a seam.
Do the same for each end – you want the seal tight so the potatoes can cook through.
Cook the potatoes direct heat over a medium high grill or campfire. Cook them for 10-20 minutes until they are cooked through and have your preferred amount of “crispy doneness” on the bottom layer. Start checking them after about 10-12 minutes to make sure they aren’t burning.
Alternatively, bake in a preheated 450* F oven. Start with them seam side down and let them cook for about 10-12 minutes. Then, carefully turn the packet over and either open the ends or slice some holes in the top with a sharp knife. This will allow the steam to escape so the potatoes can crisp up. Although, they won’t really get as crispy as they do over the direct heat of a grill/campfire…
To serve, just place the foil in a sturdier serving dish and open the top seam.
Oh man, the crispy ones are my favorite!
In-Husk Roasted Corn
When I think of roasted corn, I think of the county fair and carrying around an ear of corn by the husk trying not to get covered in dripping butter. I am not ashamed to admit that after a recent sampling of such corn at a local farm, Zak and I actually seriously considered buying an professional roaster machine to sell corn at our local farmer’s market… A girl can dream, right? LOL
Instead, I decided I’d just try my hand at roasting corn at home – success!
Start by trimming off any dried or hanging husk pieces, as well as the bulk of the stem.
Place directly on the grate of a medium grill or in an oven preheated to 350* F. Cook for 30-35 minutes. If oven roasting, no turning is required. For the grill, though, you may need to turn the corn every 10 minutes or so to make sure the husks don’t catch fire. If you like, when the corn is almost finished cooking, you can peel back the husks and place back on the grate to get some nice char marks on the ear itself.
Make-Ahead Tip: Not enough room on the grill? Make your corn ahead of time and store in a small cooler to keep warm until ready to serve.
To serve, peel back the husks to give yourself a nice handle. The silk should also easily come away. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper or your favorite seasonings.
Lately, I am obsessed with a seasoning called Tajin – it’s salty and spicy with a tang of lime. I first had it on an ear of roasted corn at that farm a couple weeks ago – DELICIOUS! Don’t go looking for it in the spice aisle though – after a long search of multiple stores, I happened to find it in the produce section near the fruit, of all things. As it turns out, many use Tajin on fruit such as watermelon – how exotic!
I could easily eat 3-4 of these as a meal… LOL!
Both of these easy sides are perfect additions to any summer cookout!
Here are the other 4th of July recipes I featured this year: