Camping, the get away from it all. A chance to commune with nature or at least sleep in the outdoors away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s also the fun of building a fire for some wood-fired gourmet cooking. Our most recent camping trip led us up the mountain to the Grand Lake area.
We camped on Lake Granby in a beautiful spot overlooking the lake. I can’t say the trip was perfect but it was fun even though it got cut a little short. The idea was to spend a three-day weekend but due to a lot of rain and thunderstorms we ended up coming back a day early.
While we might have cut the trip short, it didn’t stop us from enjoying the planned gourmet dinner. Roaming around on the web I had found a recipe for Cilantro Garlic Lime Seafood Packets from Host the Toast (we both LOVE seafood). The cooking suggestion for these little packets of joy was cooking on the grill or in the oven but they were perfect for cooking over the campfire. It was basically a seafood boil in a packet without the Old Bay seasoning. Next time, I might toss in a little Old Bay but they turned out lovely with the ingredients I used.
The guy at the market where I purchased the seafood laughed at me when I told him it was for camping. He said “don’t you mean glamping?” I answered back, ” no, not glamping, we are staying in a traditional tent with sleeping bags and setting it up ourselves. But I guess you can call it gourmet camping.” He just laughed again! But it was gourmet camping and who doesn’t want that?
Yes, the seafood might be a little over the top but I can tell you that it was AWESOME and we enjoyed every bite of it. Just make sure you pick out a great bottle of crisp dry white wine and some crusty bread to sop up the spicy broth. If you must skip the wine, substitute in chicken broth not water or you’ll lose so much flavor from the broth. The recipe is easy to make and throw together on site if you’ve cleaned your mussels and clams before hand.
I used sunflower oil instead of butter because it’s what I took camping but feel free to use butter for even more decadence. Also if you don’t like some of the ingredients switch them up with ones that you do. While we liked the mussels, we’ve decided the clams were better and want more of them next time, so I’m leaving out the mussels. Also I could only get peeled shrimp so I cooked them separately so as not to overcook them, but if you can get extra-large peel on shrimp, cook them in with the rest of the ingredients. Small ones, you’ll still need to cook separately.
With the days beginning to cool as summer switches over to fall, it’s the perfect time to stoke up a nice hot fire or fire up the grill for these wonderfully tasty and sumptuous seafood packets filled with spicy Spanish chorizo, white wine, late summer corn, jalapeno and lots of seafood.
Spanish Chorizo, Jalapeno and Lime Seafood Packets
10 Little-neck clams, cleaned
1/2 lb. mussels, cleaned
1/2 lb. uncooked shrimp, peel on-vein removed
4 large sea scallops
2 ears fresh corn, cut into fourths
2 large jalapenos, sliced
2/3 lb. dried Spanish chorizo, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. sunflower oil
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into quarters
sea salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine
Make sure you clean the clams and mussels. Scrub the shells with a brush to remove grit and remove beards from mussels. You can also soak them them in cold water (keep the water cold by changing regularly) for an hour and the mussels will spit out most of the sand they carry inside.
Preheat grill or oven to 450° F or build a bed of hot coals if using a campfire.
Using 4 pieces of heavy-duty foil or a large foil pan, divide the seafood evenly into the packets or mix into the pan (if using small or peeled shrimp, cook separately in their own packet). Add the corn, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper, oil and quarter cup of wine to each packet. Squeeze each lime quarter over the packet and then add the rind to the pack for more flavor.
Seal the packets tightly to avoid leaking out the broth, leaving a little room for the steam to build inside the packs. If using a foil pan, cover tightly with foil, sealing well.
If using the grill, reduce heat to medium. Place the packets over the grill, in the oven or over the campfire. If using the fire, take care not to place over flames but over a bed of very hot coals. Grill or bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through or until clams open up. If using the campfire, cooking time increases to 25 to 30 minutes or until clams open. If cooking shrimp separately, cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until pink.
Take care when opening the packets because they are full of steam and can cause burns.
Serve immediately with the rest of the white wine and crusty bread for dipping.
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