Tin Foil Potatoes:The Return of the Sun
As the March sun melts through the snow-laden spruce, I rake the orange-glowing coals about in the pit, banking them to the back side, like I always do. And I pause momentarily, not just to savor the heat off the grill, which is nice, but to note this day how the sun at once seems a peck more sluggish aloft than maybe it once was. A little less keen on the business of dropping into darkness, or to give up its waning light. And this gives us northern folk pause for hope. It sings to our soul. But then I notice this same thing every year around this time, around day light savings time. We set the clocks forward, thinking that does something important. And maybe it does. Up at this latitude anyways, people today saw the sun at supper time, and say what you will, after a winter’s worth of dark suppers, this is a most novel event. Such milestones give hope to the BBQ spirit, that some day soon again, there will be warm sun beams awash over our grills, and merit to the notion we won’t soon either have to dig them out anymore, from the lofty drifts of snow which hath conspired there. Indeed, we Patrons of the Pit notice these things such as the lingering sun. How couldn’t we. It is in our blood. Anyways, let’s head inside and see what is going on the grill tonight.
One of my favorite things to grill are potatoes. And maybe my favorite method of doing them is diced up in the foil. If you’ve never grilled your spuds like this before, you’re missing something out of your grilling career. The process is as simple as it gets almost, and nary fails to turn out a delicious end game. Here is how to do it. While the grill is coming up to speed, lay down a sheet of tin foil and dice up a few potatoes into uniform chunks about the size of dice. Skin on or off, it doesn’t matter, however you like them is fine. It doesn’t really matter even what size you want to dice them, just so long as they are uniform in size thus to allow for even cooking. The next crucial ingredient is fat. You can dribble some cooking oil over them, but I like to disperse a few generous pats of butter over the potatoes. Next, if you’re an onion person, of which we can only hope our readers are, you’ll likely wanna chop up one of them on the pile too. Then hit the whole thing with a dusting of pepper and a few pinches of kosher salt. Some times I toss in some vegetables too, but not tonight. When you have it all ready, wrap it up good in the foil, tuck it under your wing like a full back, and make way for your grill. Lets head back out there, where as my elder brother is fond of saying ” the metal meets the meat”.
We preach the in-direct method allot here on POTP, and you should aspire for it, but here is one occasion where it works to go directly over the flame. Go head and put your foiled-up potatoes on the grate, right over the coals. The butter will quickly come to a sizzle, in a ricocheting applause within it’s tin foil sanctum. Now also would be a good time to toss on a few chunks of meat if you have a mind to, and if you’re man, well, this should not require too much additional thought. We’ve been on a chicken leg quarter sort of kick here at the pit lately, so we thought to use up some more of those. Patted down in vegetable oil, and seasoned in garlic salt. Nice and simple. As any meat and potato mantra should be. Seared them, them tucked them in-direct. Put on the lid, and went about the vital business of procuring myself a lovely beverage from the refrigerator. Standard Pit Master Procedure.
As is custom in winter grilling, you will want to take up residence in your favorite man chair, strategically positioned with a view of the pit and perhaps the big game on the TV. These are the moments in every cook you remember. Those contented span of minutes where the aromas of food and smoke waft from the grill damper, and there is banter in the air, as your posture slouches a bit in your chair. A seasoned pit master doesn’t fight it too much you see, and if you need to tip your hat over eyes and procure a nap for a few minutes, well, we will harbor no shame against thee. In point of fact, we will salute you. For at the heart of all good BBQ, is a soul on the scenic path, taking his time. Taking these moments we love, and extending the moment just as long as we can. No hurries, mate. However, in this cook, we do have vittles over direct heat, and they should be done in about 20 -25 minutes. So don’t nap too long. It’s time to go plate up.
My beautiful bride is particularly fond of these potatoes of you can get some of them a little crispy, and these sort you will usually find adhering like a tick to the side of the tin foil. Peel them off to compliment the color and texture of your plate. Served alongside some perfectly executed BBQ chicken, hark, a meal fairer to thee, and patron even to the sun which has returned; and unto its golden light cast upon our grills. Amen.