In a couple of weeks, my husband, Charlie, and I will celebrate 18 years of marriage. To mark the occasion, we have planned a four-day trip to the Smoky Mountains.
Now, before you start thinking, “Oh, how romantic, a mini-vacation in a cozy cabin with a fireplace and a hot tub,” let me paint the real picture.
We’re going to be in a tent. No electricity. No bathrooms. No running water. No heat. But plenty of bears. And each other.
Charlie and I haven’t taken many trips alone since our children were born, but whenever we do travel sans-kids, we always like to try new and interesting restaurants.
From what I hear, there aren’t any restaurants in the middle of the Smoky Mountains. So, we’ll be creating our own new and interesting food.
Week before last, Charlie tried a recipe he’d found in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine for Pouch-Grilled Potatoes and Garlic. It turned out perfectly: The potatoes were tender and well-seasoned and they complemented the steaks that accompanied them.
I think this recipe would work well on our trip. Most of the food we’re going to eat will have to be prepared or packaged before we leave Tupelo, like the marinated chicken breasts we’ll cook over a fire one night and the pasta salad I’ll make ahead and stick in the cooler.
(The cooler, by the way, will be locked in the car as will a bin holding dry goods, like peanut butter crackers, granola bars, trail mix and fresh fruit. Bears, you know.)
I think I can prepare the potatoes at home, seal them in foil and then put the packet into a ziptop bag in the cooler. When it comes time for supper, we’ll just pull the pouch out and stick it in the fire.
Wish us luck.
Pouch-Grilled Potatoes and Garlic
11⁄2 pounds new potatoes, halved
4 garlic cloves, skin on
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, for serving
Place potatoes and garlic on a large double layer of foil, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Fold foil around potatoes and crimp edges to form a packet. Grill directly over heat source, rotating packet often, until potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. (To keep warm, move packet to cooler side of grill.)
Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl. Toss with cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.
Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal