Friday, August 7, 2015

Shrimp Hobo Packs

I owe writer friend Tiger Wiseman a vote of thanks for introducing me to this recipe when we were spending time at her home in Vermont last month. She obtained the recipe from a friend, but then it appeared, with some variations, in the Boston Globe, and I knew I had to share. It’s a delightful summer dish, especially if you don’t like to cook in the heat: peel, slice and dice, put the contents in a foil wrapper, and stick them on the grill for a short time.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it to whatever you have on hand, combining protein, starch and veggies all in one packet. Add some herbs or spices and you’re done! And no cooking dishes to wash!

Shrimp Hobo Packs (makes 4 single-serving packets)

A few notes before you begin:

--Don’t skimp on the size of the shrimp; smaller ones may overcook. (Nice idea in theory, but my market doesn’t carry large uncooked shrimp. Don’t worry, the medium ones will taste fine.)

--Use non-waxy potatoes, and keep the slices thin so they’ll cook through.

--Put the potatoes and corn on the bottom of the packet because they require more cooking, and the seafood near the top.


Vegetable oil, for foil
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
Salt and pepper
2 large ears corn, husked and cut into 10 pieces each (about one inch thick)
1 pound largish shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound kielbasa, chorizo, or linguica, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
One large or two small onions, thinly sliced
8 large sprigs fresh thyme
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 large lemon, ends trimmed, cut into 8 slices

by Sheila Connolly

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill (or preheat a gas grill on high for 15 minutes).

Putting them together:

Cut 4 pieces of heavy-duty foil, 18 inches long by at least 12 inches wide. Brush the center of each with oil (or use the spray-on kind).

Arrange the contents on the foil in the following order:

--about 6 potato slices in a single layer in the center of the foil (sprinkle with salt and pepper)

-- 5 pieces of corn

-- 4 shrimp

-- a quarter of the sausage slices

-- 2 sprigs of thyme

-- 4 pieces of butter

-- a sprinkle of pepper

-- 2 slices of lemon

Sliced and ready to go
Add 2 tablespoons of water (or wine or even beer), after loosely folding the long edges of foil up (to help contain the liquid). Fold together the top and bottom edges of the foil and then the sides several times, leaving some headroom, and crimping all the edges to seal tightly.

Place the packets seam side up on the grill and cover the grill (leave the vents open!). It will take about 15 minutes to cook the shrimp, corn, and potatoes on a charcoal grill. Remove and open packets, discard lemon slices and thyme sprigs, transfer contents to serving bowls, and serve at once with grilled bread to sop up the juices.

As I said, you can mix it up any way to want. For instance, you can shake up the shrimp with Old Bay seasoning (which is what I did), or other favorite spices such as smoked paprika. Or add minced garlic. It’s up to you! Have fun with it.

Okay, it's a winter scene. But it's a hot summer--I hope it will cool you off!

A Gala Event (Orchard Mystery #9), coming in October 2015. There's a wedding!

Available for pre-order at Amazon (and it may even be on sale!) and Barnes & Noble


  1. I really like this idea! It's something that you could even make in the morning, refrigerate, and just pull out and throw on the grill when you're ready for dinner. I also like that there could be variations on the mix, but I probably will stick with what you've got here because it's all things that I have on hand normally, and that we all enjoy. Thanks for sharing! p.s. After this hot summer, it's nice to see a little bit of winter! 😀

    1. That would work. And if you happen to have any packets left over (ha!), you can reheat them. Just don't wait too long--these are better fresh.

  2. Sounds easy and yummy! Would definitely mix things up with what I have on hand. Sorry have to say I do not like cooked corn, yep I am a weird one. Oh boy is that a fabulous sight, winter, snow, yeppers. I can not wait!!

  3. Oh by the way, it is on sale at amazon!! Just went to preorder and it is under $5!!

  4. I love summer dishes like this. It reminds me of a big fish boil when everything is thrown into a pot. Must buy some kielbasa and shrimp!

  5. I love foil pack meals. And this looks delicious. Foil packs are such fun for Summer, so easy and very little clean up.

  6. Foil pack meals are so easy and clean up is a snap! Looking forward to this book as I enjoy this series.

  7. Ingenious and it's wonderful how adaptable it is.

  8. I love packet cooking. Looks delicious!