Mix & Match Grilled Seafood Packets (aka Ocean Packets)

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Mix & Match Grilled Seafood Packets (aka Ocean Packets)-Healthy, single-serve packets that are loaded with flavor and just plain fun to eat. Quick to prep and easy customize based on allergies or personal preference. (And cleanup is a breeze!)

Looking for a special meal that keeps the work (and cleanup) to a minimum? My family raves when these flavorful packets are on the menu. They’re healthy but loaded with flavor and just plain fun to eat. As an added bonus, individual packets can be customized according to preference and food allergies. (Simply label the packets with a trusty Sharpie.)

 

 

I’m a firm believer that food should be fun. When we truly enjoy a meal, the mood at the table is lighter, conversation flows and everyone seems to linger a little longer.

Sounds like the perfect Father’s Day meal to me. (Or 4th of July, Labor Day or birthday celebration… or simply a fun dinner to add a little sparkle to the average weekend!✨)

My husband and sons adore this meal, which we refer to as “Ocean Packets.” I especially love that I can serve my family food that I can’t eat without cooking a separate meal for myself.

Shortly after my husband and I married, I developed a severe allergy to bivalves-i.e., any seafood with two shells.

So while I can eat shrimp, crab, lobster and all the flat fishes (and I’m grateful for that!), clams, scallops, oyster sauce and the like are off limits.

These handy packets allow my family to enjoy a variety of shellfish-and then for my packet, I simply omit the offending ingredients and add more shrimp.

Of course, if someone in your family is allergic to shrimp, or nightshades for that matter (meaning no tomatoes), or you simply can’t find clams or scallops, feel free to substitute accordingly.

Marking the outside of the packet with a Sharpie is an easy way to avoid confusion and ensure no family member or guest receives the wrong packet. Speaking from experience, it’s fun for the allergy sufferer to eat what everyone else is eating (or close to it!).

Mix & Match Grilled Seafood Packets (aka Ocean Packets)-Healthy, single-serve packets that are loaded with flavor and just plain fun to eat. Quick to prep and easy customize based on allergies or personal preference. (And cleanup is a breeze!)

The upper left packet is marked with a Sharpie. This is an easy way to identify packets that have been customized based on allergies or personal preference.

Mix & Match Grilled Seafood Packets (aka Ocean Packets)-Healthy, single-serve packets that are loaded with flavor and just plain fun to eat. Quick to prep and easy customize based on allergies or personal preference. (And cleanup is a breeze!)

The inherent novelty and eat-with-your-hands potential of these all-in-one packets adds to the fun factor.

Combine the aforementioned virtues with the convenience of advance prep-and did I mention virtually no cleanup?-and this dinner is truly a winner.

Built-in portion control is yet another benefit. That said, a single packet is plenty filling and 100% worthy of company.

Serve with a tray of watermelon and you have a delightful meal that screams summer. And I’m willing to bet that if you try these crowd-pleasing Ocean Packets once, you’ll return to them all season long! ☀️

Mix & Match Grilled Seafood Packets (aka Ocean Packets)-Healthy, single-serve packets that are loaded with flavor and just plain fun to eat. Quick to prep and easy customize based on allergies or personal preference. (And cleanup is a breeze!)

 

Why I love this meal:

  • allows for easy customization based on preference, allergies and availability
  • unique
  • recipe can be scaled as needed
  • easy advance prep
  • quick cooking
  • built-in portion control
  • filling and well-rounded
  • incredibly easy cleanup
  • simple enough for an “any night” meal but special enough for company

 

If you try them, I’d love to know what you think!

 

Mix & Match Grilled Seafood Packets (aka Ocean Packets)-Healthy, single-serve packets that are loaded with flavor and just plain fun to eat. Quick to prep and easy customize based on allergies or personal preference. (And cleanup is a breeze!)

 

Mix & Match Grilled Seafood Packets (aka Ocean Packets)
Yield: Yield: 4 servings (recipe is easy to double or halve)
These easy-prep packets are endlessly customizable, making them perfect for those who don’t like tomatoes, are allergic to certain seafood, etc. Simple omit or substitute anything you can’t eat, can't find or don’t like.
Ingredients
  • 16 little neck clams in shell, scrubbed
  • 16 uncooked, shell-on jumbo shrimp*
  • 16 sea scallops
  • 4 ears corn on the cob, husked and cut into quarters OR 1 pound small par-boiled new potatoes**
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Zest of one lemon, plus optional use of lemon wedges
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay
  • 6 tablespoons white wine or beer (could substitute seafood stock or chicken broth)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives and/or fresh parsley
  • Optional for serving: additional Old Bay, bread for mopping up the flavorful broth
Instructions
  1. Lay four 18×12-inch pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil (or use a double layer of regular foil) on the counter or a flat work surface.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil the grate.
  3. Place 4 clams, 4 shrimp, 4 scallops, 4 pieces of corn on the cob or ¼ of the parboiled potatoes, and 4 cherry tomatoes in the center of each piece of foil.
  4. Place 1 tablespoon of butter over each pile – I cube each piece and evenly disperse. Zest ¼ of the lemon over each packet, and then sprinkle each with ½ teaspoon Old Bay, and 1½ tablespoons of the white wine, beer, or broth.
  5. Bring the two short ends of each of the foil sheets together and fold over several times to seal. Leave room for steam. Fold the remaining ends over several times to seal the packet completely. (Advance prep tip: At this point, the packets may be placed on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.)
  6. Place the foil packets on the preheated grill, cover the grill, and bake until the clams are open and the shrimp are pink and opaque, about 15 minutes. (Tip: Carefully open a packet after about 12-13 minutes and check for doneness. Variations in cooking time will occur from grill to grill.  Our last packets were perfectly cooked at 14 minutes.)
  7. To serve, place the foil packets on individual plates, carefully unfold the top (be careful – the steam will be hot) or cut an “X” through the foil and peel back the foil. Sprinkle each packet with chives and/or parsley and serve with a lemon wedge, if desired.
Notes

*Smaller shrimp may overcook in the time it takes for the remaining ingredients to cook through. I find jumbos work quite well.

**Steaming, microwaving, or otherwise cooking potatoes prior to use is important, as they will otherwise remain underdone when the seafood is fully cooked. It’s ok if they are still a tad al dente, but I usually steam until they are just tender. This may be done earlier in the day and the potatoes can sit at room temperature until ready to assemble the packets.

Helpful hints: You can accommodate allergies and taste preferences by omitting any offending ingredients and adding a proportionate amount of another.  Use a Sharpie to write names on top of the foil packet if they are made to order.

We’re frequently told to discard any clams that have not opened during the cooking process, and this is good food safety practice. But what if a clamshell is open before cooking? In order to determine freshness, gently tap it. A shell that closes right away indicates that the clam still alive and good to use.

Additions and substitutions that work well:

Slices or small chunks of cooked or smoked sausage (like Kielbasa, Andouille, or your favorite turkey sausage)
Mushrooms, sliced, quartered, or halved
Minced garlic (I use 1 small clove per packet)
I don’t add salt and pepper to the packets but do offer sea salt and ground pepper at the table. However, you could add a sprinkle to the packets before cooking.
Corn and potatoes provide a complementary starch in the packets but may be completely omitted. The corn does pick up delicious flavor from the broth that develops, and the potatoes are wonderful mashed into the broth. Sometimes, however, I opt to grill or steam a bigger batch of corn to serve alongside.
Bread for mopping up the broth

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

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Comments

  1. Helen S.

    This will be just grand for the Father’s Day meal at our home this year!!
    I may add mussels with the shrimp and clams.

    Reply
  2. Amanda

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it! What if you don’t have a grill? How else could these be cooked? An oven?

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks Amanda! You could definitely cook these in the oven. Medium heat on the grill translates to 350℉ in the oven. I’d still check a little early (and add time if needed) until you know the precise time in your oven. If you try, I’d love to know how you make out!

      Reply