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Grill potatoes in foil pouches for a sizzling side dish this summer

"Home with the Lost Italian" columnist Sarah Nasello says this casual, no-fuss potato recipe is great for summer gatherings and can be easily adapted and doubled as desired.

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Sarah's Buttery Herb Pouch Potatoes are an easy-to-make, fragrant and delicious summer side dish.
Sarah Nasello / The Forum
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FARGO — As proud North Dakotans, it should come as no surprise that potatoes are a favorite side dish in our home, and these Buttery Herb Pouch Potatoes are one of my favorite ways to prepare them in the summer months.

This is a casual, no-fuss recipe that is great for summer gatherings, and it can be easily adapted and doubled as desired. Plus, since the potatoes are cooked in aluminum foil pouches, the cleanup is easy, too.

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Red potatoes are cut into bite-size chunks and tossed in extra-virgin olive oil with onions, garlic powder, kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Sarah Nasello / The Forum

My recipe calls for 1.5 pounds of potatoes, which yields enough for two large pouches or several smaller pouches if you want to have individual servings. Size matters, as a pouch that is too large will not cook evenly.

Find more recipes from Sarah Nasello
Food columnist Sarah Nasello writes, "While you could use only plain water, chicken stock is an easy and affordable alternative, and it adds great flavor and nutrition to the soup."

I used red potatoes for this occasion because I love their creamy nature and they were on a great sale, and Yukon Gold or russet varieties would also work well. I wash the potatoes and dice them into 1-inch pieces, leaving the skin on to help the potatoes hold their shape while roasting. This also gives texture and color to the potatoes, but you can certainly peel them, if you prefer.

The diced potatoes are combined with diced onion, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic powder and a generous amount of kosher salt and black pepper. The onion will almost melt into the potatoes as they roast in the pouches, which helps to build incredible flavor.

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The potato mixture is placed on a large sheet of aluminum foil and topped with pats of butter and sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme.
Sarah Nasello / The Forum

To create the pouches, use two large pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil and place half of the mixture on each sheet. Before sealing the pouches, top the potatoes with sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme, and cubes of cold butter.

To seal the pouches, fold the long ends up toward the center and then over each other to create a seam; next, fold the short ends up several times to ensure that they are tightly sealed. The pouches work to steam the potatoes, thus holding all the flavor and moisture inside. The pouches can be fully assembled and refrigerated for up to two days in advance of roasting, which is another element that makes this recipe perfect for summer parties.

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The potatoes are roasted on the grill in foil pouches over indirect heat. The steam inside the potatoes makes them extra tender and helps them retain moisture and flavor.
Sarah Nasello / The Forum

I cook the pouches on a moderately hot grill over indirect heat so that they cook evenly and do not dry out, and you could also roast them in the oven at a slightly higher temperature. I roast the pouches until the potatoes are tender-buttery, which takes about 35 to 45 minutes depending on your grill. The onion and herbs create an amazing fragrance that wafts forth as the pouches are unsealed, so make sure to stop and enjoy that moment before serving the potatoes.

Easy to make, fragrant and delicious, these Buttery Herb Pouch Potatoes are the perfect side dish for lazy summer dinners, and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

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The fragrant potatoes are garnished with a sprinkling of fresh parsley immediately after the foil pouch is opened.
Sarah Nasello / The Forum

Buttery Herb Pouch Potatoes

PRINT: Click here for a printer-friendly version of this recipe

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1.5 pounds red potatoes, washed and diced into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, large-dice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For the pouches:
2 large sheets of aluminum foil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tablespoons cold butter, diced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish

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Directions:
Preheat grill to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and toss well with a rubber spatula to combine. Place half of the mixture on each sheet of aluminum foil. Top each half with the rosemary and thyme sprigs, and 2 tablespoons of butter.

Bring the long edges of the foil up to the center and tightly fold them over to create a seam, then fold each of the shorter sides in to seal the pouch. Place directly on the grill over indirect heat and roast until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Before serving, open each pouch, remove the herb sprigs and garnish with the fresh parsley.

Sarah’s tips:

  • The pouches can be assembled and refrigerated for up to 2 days in advance of grilling.
  • If you do not have fresh herbs on hand, you can use dried herbs by the teaspoon.
  • Yukon Gold or russet potatoes would also work for this recipe (I use red onion with the gold potatoes for a contrast of color).
  • To cook the pouches in the oven, place them on a sheet pan in the lower third of the oven and cook at 450 degrees for the same amount of time.
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The creamy quality of red potatoes makes them ideal for Sarah's Buttery Herb Pouch Potatoes.
Sarah Nasello / The Forum

Recipe Time Capsule:

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Related Topics: FOODFARGORECIPES
“Home with the Lost Italian” is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owned Sarello’s in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at sarahnasello@gmail.com.
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