Spicy Happy Hobo packets are easy to prepare and guaranteed to delight. The recipe is flexible to allow your preferred ground meat or vegetarian choice. You can let campers assemble their packets at the picnic table.
- 5 Tablespoons olive oil
- ⅓ Cup dried Italian spiced breadcrumbs
- ⅓ Cup milk
- ½ Cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- ¼ Teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ Teaspoon ground chili pepper
- 1 pound ground turkey, beef, or chicken meat
- 1 pound ground Italian flavored sausage
- 2 pounds potatoes cut into 1.5” chunks (do this right before cooking so they won’t discolor)
- 1 large onion peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 green pepper seeded and cut into 1.5” chunks
- Shake of salt and pepper to season the veggies.
- Mix all of the above ingredients well.
- Form into 2” balls and place on lightly greased jellyroll pan (a cookie sheet with sides, to prevent balls from rolling off)
- Bake in a preheated 350° oven.
- After 10 minutes, with an oven mitt on your hand, reach into the oven carefully and gently shake the pan causing the meatballs to change position. This will prevent them from browning on only one side.
- Bake an additional 10 minutes until the meat is thoroughly cooked.
- Cool, then place in a storage container.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to three days before eating.
- Be sure to keep these chilled while on your camping trip.
- Place a 14” square piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil on a flat surface.
- Drizzle some olive oil, then place a serving of four meatballs, and the appropriate serving size of vegetables for each appetite, on the oiled foil.
- Carefully bring two sides of the foil together at the top and fold under several times.
- Fold in the ends of the packet until the ingredients are well-sealed in the foil.
- Using heat and fire resistant gloves or appropriate long tongs, gently place each foil packet down into the hot ashes.
- After 10 minutes or so, gently turn the packet over so the opposite side gets the most heat.
- I use a small camp shovel to easily do this without the risk of puncturing a packet open.
- Have sturdy plates available for each packet as they are brought out of the fire pit.
- Carry to the picnic table, and slowly unwrap one end, allowing steam to escape before opening the rest of it.
- Tip: We enjoy eating right out of the foil, as there are usually tasty juices and crispy remnants sticking to the foil that are good eating.
about the author…Carole Davenport is a Montana travel writer-photographer and content specialist on her blog https://divineviewtraveler.wordpress.com. She is co-authoring a soon-to-be-released cookbook #bitterrootfresh with her two daughters, filled with their original recipes and photographs.
Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s April 2018 issue.
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photos and article by Carole Davenport