Thursday, January 31, 2013

French Fridays with Dorie: Brown-Sugar Squash and Brussels Sprouts en Papillote.

While working on my end-of-last-year business paperwork I was dreaming about what might go well with Dorie’s brown-sugar squash and Brussels sprouts en papillote.  I’ve been so busy I’ve not cooked dinner for the past two days; leftovers have reached their limit.  The foil packets of vegetables will not stand on their own, but they would be a tasty side for to an outdoor meal.

I decided to cook them the campfire way.  When our kids were younger they used to enjoy “tin foil dinners” where we made a variety of tasty meals such as chicken and veges all wrapped up in foil to be cooked in the hot coals from a nice fire.  Well, I did not build the fire, but I did turn on the outdoor grill, put on my vege packets along with some steaks, and voila, dinner was done.

While snipping my sage I noticed that our past several days of rain had done wonders for my lettuce patch, so I picked some of that too.  Instead of making a fancy salad, I chose to let Dorie’s veges be the star and the lettuce could be just lettuce this time.  And being freshly picked it was sweet and juicy and crisp; any accompaniment would have been a distraction.

With hot homemade bread and freshly  made strawberry jam ( I paid $8 for enough strawberries to make 32 cups of jam and right now the berries are sweet and beautiful) we had a great meal and I had a pleasurable distraction.  After an afternoon of cooking I’m recharged to get back to work in the morning and will endure another no dinner day.  (I made extra vege packets for tomorrow...with all the snacking during work we’ll have something to grab that’s healthy.)

(One of my comfort foods is the foam that gets  skimmed  of the top of  finished jam just before it gets jarred.  Must be something from my childhood  memories when my mom gave me my own bowl of one else wanted it.  How could they not love that sweet, airy, fruity foam?  It’s what prompted today’s bread...that’s what you see in the photo and that’s why this spread is not bright red strawberry jam.)

Hubby–I usually don’t honestly enjoy  Brussels sprouts, but with the apple and the seasonings, this arrangement is outstanding!  And I really love the squash.  I”ll be happy to have another one tomorrow.

No. 2 Son–upon opening the packet–Ahhh.  This smells like soap from those new soap shops where they use farm grown herbs and spices to scent their bathroom products.  It does smell really good.  (I didn’t know if I liked that comment, but it was meant to be complimentary.)

It was a lovely idea to let my eaters open their foil packages.  That initial whif from the steamy veges  enveloped by the aroma of fresh sage was really nice!

Hope you all enjoyed this simple project as much as we did!  Now that we’ve all had our veges we can enjoy guiltless Superbowl  junkfood.


  1. We served ours with steak, too! Your top photo is great.

    Thank you so much for your comment on the Scallops! You're such a sweetheart!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. I thought these would be perfect for the grill! Your dinner looks fabulous! I ate mine for lunch with just some Italian bread and yogurt spread! It was a great lunch for me…my husband would never eat these veggies…no squash or Brussels sprouts in his vocabulary! Happy Groundhogs Day, Kris!! Enjoy your weekend!

  3. Your meal looks delicious Kris. My parents sometimes use this method with veggies on the grill when they are having people over and don't have any more room in the kitchen. It's kind of like having a second oven.

  4. Kris, that steak from the grill looks so delicious alongside your wonderful vegetable packages. In fact, your whole meal sounds quite amazing. You picked fresh salad, baked bread and made strawberry jam...I am really impressed and your pictures are just wonderful, you can really see how terrific that dinner must have tasted. Love the comments from your taste testers at home! And thank you also for your wonderful comments, they always mean a lot to me!
    Hope you will spend a wonderful weekend!

  5. It was nice to open these up at the table and get a nice whiff of those veggies and the sage! Nice work getting them done on the grill - that's something I wouldn't have thought of at all! The whole meal came out looking quite delicious!

  6. I agree - these are a great packet to throw on the grill. Sounds like a great dinner.
    I am envious of your beautiful weather. I left early this morning to catch a train to NYC - by the time I came home, there were three inches of snow on the driveway waiting to be shoveled. Brrr....

  7. What a delicious looking meal. I like the idea of throwing these packets on the grill, but that will have to wait until spring when it's warm out again. Fresh strawberries in February = I'm jealous.

  8. Nice choices to accompany the veggies! I'm just starting to think about getting my garden ready for spring, so hearing about lettuce, strawberries, and fresh herbs is perfect motivation.

  9. Yum - what a delicious looking dinner! I'm jealous that you could snip sage from your garden. I had to buy a package from the store!

  10. What a great looking meal! I just love cooking in foil when camping! It is amazing how wonderful everything tastes all jumbled and cooked together in a packet of foil. :) Glad you enjoyed this one. Lovely job.

  11. I am always so inspired with the amazing meals you knock out- even when busy. When I try to catch up on stuff I find that the cooking and blogging suffers but you wonderfully balance it all and manage to recharge. WOW. Your family is very lucky with this attitude (and those meals !!!) and I will be keeping this in mind in the future. Thanks :)

  12. Smile. I did those 'tinfoil dinners' for cookouts too and hadn't remembered that. So you have FINALLY given purpose to this method for us. Just about all have been going on and on about how roasted is so much better but done this way you can not use the oven when also using the grill. In So Cal that can happen quite a lot so I will remember that hint. Thanks!

  13. I am also a fan of the foam skimmed from fresh strawberry preserves. It's so sweet and light. Your entire meal is right up my alley! I think doing the veggies on the grill would be really good too!

  14. Krissy, what a terrific post. Each paragraph was filled with good stuff. Throwing them on the grill is a GREAT idea and how easy is that? I'll probably do this veggie packet again and will definitely take it outside. I thought the sage was a tasty addition. Although I like my veggies roasted and carmelized, this was a nice alternative and your meal was more than perfect. Your son's compliment was left-handed but a compliment all the same. Good for you for putting up so much jam. Homemade bread, also. How do you pull it all together - sometimes leftovers are a good thing.