Easy 4th of July Shrimp Packets

June 30, 2015


P1030616        ^Forgive the sentimental, old picture. It’s just my favorite summer pic of them, ever.


I am happy to report that Ukelele Girl came home from sleepaway camp in one piece and in high spirits. Miss M. and I tagged along for the ride to retrieve her, which shows how much she was missed–the little one and I are not fond of car rides on winding, narrow, nausea-inducing mountain roads. We both were a little green around the gills when we got there.

Miss D. was returned to us about 2 shades darker in skin tone and 5 pounds lighter in body–this was a sports-centered camp and she busted her butt every day. She had fun and made many new friends, but it’s going to be a long time before she wants to be in the company of anything insect/creepy crawly. She also confessed to feeling a little homesick several times, which made me feel strangely pleased. Home must not be such a bad place if our teenager misses us.

We did hit a couple of snafus this weekend. The first was when I went to unpack D.’s camp duffel bag and we realized that we’d accidentally grabbed the wrong one. Ugh! What are the odds that another kid had almost an identical duffel? My husband had to make a trip down to Denver for a mutual duffel exchange. The second calamity was when I opened Miss. D.’s (correct) duffel and this huge whiff of STANK assaulted me in the face. “Gah!!!!” I hollered. “What in the holy Hell happened here?”  My husband came running to investigate, took one whiff, and recoiled. “Jesus! What died in there?”  Apparently, some wild animal had pissed all over her duffel, and believe me, it was gag-inducing. I had to wash her clothes five times to get the stench out.

While my husband was busy driving like a madman, I was poring over cookbooks and food magazines, trying to figure out our Fourth of July menu.  We haven’t really solidified our plans for the holiday, but there’s always some kind of grilling involved. Sometimes we’re content to go the traditional burgers and hot dogs route, but this year I wanted to do something a little different.

I’d gotten my hands on some beautiful, enormous shrimp–definitely a splurge. I wanted to do them justice, but seafood on the grill can be a little tricky. Just a minute too long on a hot grill, and your investment can go up in…smoke. I came across this recipe and thought it sounded perfect because a) it’s super easy and b) the shrimp cooks in foil packets on the grill, which greatly reduces your chance for error.

The foil packets keep the shrimp tender because it actually steams the shrimp. Lots of yummy flavors infuse those little devils, like lemon and herbs and wine and salty, umami-rich anchovy.

Yes, anchovy. Don’t fear the fish, people! If you cook anchovy paste/anchovies, the flavor isn’t fishy-tasting at all. Honest. Cooked anchovies get melty and buttery and toasty-tasting. Nobody will even know they’re in there, so shhhh, you don’t even have to say a peep.

Another bonus? You can assemble these packets of shrimpy goodness far ahead, pop them in the refrigerator, go about your holiday revelry, and when it’s time for dinner, all you have to do is sip a beverage, throw the packets on the grill and Voila! In about 15 minutes, you have a delicious meal. No flipping, no fussing, no having to cook meat patties for different lengths of time to pacify the rare or the well-done crowd. Sounds good to me. I like it when I can enjoy my own party.

Whatever your plans for Independence Day, I hope you enjoy yummy food and jovial company and, of course, some good old fashioned horsing around.

balloon fun                    ^Our day will definitely involve these. Bring it, suckas!



^There will be badminton. Miss D. is the Serena Williams of badminton.



^ This is hubby’s “Bad-ass Badminton Stance.”   Dork.



WP_20150628_12_04_41_Pro                                                                                                                           ^Mozz-man says, “Have a chill 4th, dudes.”







Easy Breezy Shrimp Packets

serves 4

slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 minced garlic clove

1 lemon, zested and then juiced

1 tablespoon anchovy paste*

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

kosher salt and pepper

2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (leave the tails on for easy eating, if you wish)

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

4 green onions, sliced

1 Fresno or red jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup bottled clam juice

2 tablespoons butter

thin slices of lemon

baguette, for serving


Heat the grill to medium-high.

Whisk the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, anchovy paste, basil, parsley, paprika, crushed red pepper, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper together in the bottom of a large bowl.

To the bowl, add the halved tomatoes, shrimp, scallions and red pepper. Toss together well to coat.

Tear off 8 (16-inch) sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Lay four sheets down on a work surface and top with the other 4 sheets of foil, so you have 4 double layers.

Using a slotted spoon, divide the shrimp evenly among the 4 layers of foil.

Whisk together the wine and clam juice. Spoon evenly over the shrimp mixture. Place 1/2 tablespoon butter over each packet. Place a few lemon slices over the whole shebang.

Seal the packets, crimping the edges tightly but leaving a small bit of room in the packets–they will puff up on the grill.

Place the packets on the grill and shut the lid. Grill for about 8-10 minutes.

Remove the packets from the grill and let rest a few minutes.

Let each guest carefully open their own packet and serve with warm baguette for dunking.



{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherri July 1, 2015 at 3:27 am

Looks good – going to try. Was just out your way with my whole brood in CO. So nice out there – thinking of moving west now :). Glad the camp experience was good; we are mulling over such an experience for our boys next year :).


Kel July 1, 2015 at 8:32 am

This post makes me sad because I waaaaaaant this.

Alas. I live with people who cannot have shellfish. Perhaps if they’re gone for a day later this summer. Hmmmmmm.


Tiffany July 8, 2015 at 8:13 am

Im so glad she had fun at camp!


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