Hobos is the name for camp cooking in tin foil packets. But you don’t have to wait to go camping to have a Hobo dinner, or you may never have one! I imagine Hobos to be a backwoods take on cooking in parchment. Cooking en papillote, or in parchment paper, is a classic technique for preparing deliciously, healthy meals. Little or no fat or oil is required because food stays moist from the steam trapped inside the bag – making it an excellent method for cooking fish.
Wild Salmon, asparagus and potatoes cooked in parchment
Cooking in foil packets or parchment is also a fun way to change things up in the kitchen and get the kids involved in making their own meal. Kids love making their own food and adults love Hobos because they are easy and versatile and you can be as creative as you like. Camp cooks love them because they are a lot less work than traditional camping meals.
The excitement of knowing YOU caught dinner – priceless!
I love it because everyone can personalize their packet, so its a dream come true for finicky eaters, and there are no dishes or pots and pans (except maybe a baking sheet) to wash afterwards! The recipe I’m sharing today could easily be a camping Hobo meal, but I’m more the “glamping” type (glamorous camping) so I used parchment paper bags from Paper Chef.
Side note: Even though we’re not much for camping, our trips to the Ozarks and Mammoth Lakes always included fishing. College Girl grew up eating fish, which is part of a healthy diet, but I know many kids (and adults) don’t like fish. For kids to like a food, it has to be presented to them and it’s always more exciting when you or your dad (or mom) baited the hook that caught the fish that’s now dinner!
- 3/4 pound wild Sockeye Salmon fillet skin on
- 10 little Cal Red potatoes
- 10 little Yukon gold potato
- 10 little Purple Peruvian potatoes
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 2 tablespoons quality olive oil divided
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 1 teaspoon Savory Spice Shop Citrus Blend*
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- 2 large cloves garlic minced (about 1-12/ teaspoons)
- 2 shallots sliced thin
- 1 Meyer lemon* sliced
- 2 parchment bags and heavy duty aluminum foil
Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees
Run cold water over the salmon, pat dry with paper towels. Place the fish on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle the fish with a 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil and sprinkle with the citrus spice blend. Cut the fish in half, spread the shallots on top and place each half in a parchment bag or on a 12”x12” piece of aluminum foil.
Clean the asparagus and potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. Trim 1 inch from the asparagus stems. Place the asparagus on the cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Divide the asparagus between the two parchment bags. Place the asparagus next to the salmon with lemon slices between and on top of the fish.
Put the potatoes on the same lined baking sheet. Combine the remaining tablespoon of olive oil with the garlic and smoked paprika, drizzle onto the potatoes, using a brush to coat each potato. Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes, then add the packets of salmon and asparagus. Bake for another 25 minutes until the fish is opaque and asparagus is tender, remove from oven. Be careful of the steam when opening the packets.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and add a few potatoes to each open packet or serve alongside. This is easily enough potatoes for 4 persons, so save the remainder to fry up with eggs for breakfast the next day!
Increase the amount of fish to serve 3-4. Any lemon pepper or citrus blend of spices may be substituted for the Savory Spice blend. Regular lemon may be substituted for the Meyer lemon. The packets are meant to be eaten from - that’s the fun of “hobos”.
Disclosure: I was compensated by the Idaho Potato Commission for developing this recipe for National Nutrition Month. All opinions expressed are my own. You can see more of my Idaho Potato recipes here.