I’m not sure I could get through summer without my grill. I mean, I’m sure I’d figure out a way, but it’s definitely not something I want to do. We grill out nearly every single dinner in the summertime, and because of this frequency, we long ago stepped away from the grilling comfort zone of burgers and brats. To me, the grill is just another weapon in my kitchen arsenal, and I use it for way more than just grilling up some burgers. I make pizza on the grill. I roast veggies. Heck, I even make dessert on the grill! I think the grill is way more versatile than a lot of folks give it credit for.
When the fine folks at Reynolds asked me to throw a party on the grill, I knew my party food was going to break out of the box—no burgers or hot dogs here!
One of my favorite ways to grill up dinner is to cook food en papillote, which is just a fancy French way of saying to cook things up in cute little parchment paper packets. I love them so much because they are fast, really healthy (because you’re steaming the food), and there is virtually no clean up! Just toss the parchment when you’re done. These are perfect for summer entertaining. You get to spend more time hanging out with your guests instead of scrubbing pots and pans while everyone else has all the fun.
And the resulting food from parchment packets is always so incredibly tasty! This cooking method creates a delicious sauce from the juices of whatever you’re cooking—perfect for drizzling on top of your food when you serve. Typically, fish or seafood is the food you see most cooked en papillote, but you could cook virtually anything this way.
We always have a roll of parchment paper kicking around the kitchen. I usually try to shy away from disposable items in the kitchen, but to me, parchment is an indispensable kitchen tool. You can use it to make baking sheets non-stick. Roll it into a cone and use it to pipe on frosting. Wrap up baked goods with some and tie it with some baker’s twine for a pretty gift (I swear I won a cookie contest one time not just because my cookies were delicious, but because I wrapped them up all pretty in parchment and twine—presentation is everything).
This particular use of parchment paper is quite possibly one of my favorite meals I’ve ever posted on this blog (and that’s saying a lot considering there are 300+ recipes here!). We liked it so much we ate it twice within one week. The base is a creamy rice made with coconut milk, lime juice and a heavy hand of cilantro. I know there are a lot of cilantro haters out there (I’ve heard it’s a genetic thing—to some people, cilantro tastes soapy—crazy!), so you can easily leave it out and still have a super delicious dinner.
The juice from the pineapple, plus the honey-garlic marinade on the shrimp leaves you with this beautiful, sweet and tangy sauce when you open up the packet. Drizzle it on top of the rice, shrimp and pineapple—promise me you won’t throw it out!
If you’ve never made parchment packets before, the method is super easy (and, well, adorable). First up, you just cut a big ole heart out of the parchment paper. Do it second grade style by folding the parchment in half and drawing half a heart. Then you place your ingredients on one side, fold the heart closed, and the twist the two layers together, starting at the top of the heart and making your way down to the tail. Twist the tail tight, and you’ve got a nice little parchment packet.
Break outside the grilling box with these sweet and savory shrimp packets. Who needs burgers and hot dogs when you can grill up a meal like this?
- 2 cups lite coconut milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups rice
- Juice and zest of one lime
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound large raw shrimp
- 8 thick-cut slices fresh pineapple (about one pineapple)
- Begin rice by bringing the coconut milk, water, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat in a saucepan.
- Add in the rice, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Once the rice is tender, stir in the lime juice and zest and cilantro.
- Meanwhile, preheat the grill over medium-high heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Toss with the shrimp until well-coated.
- To assemble the packets, place two slices of pineapple on one side of each of four pieces of heart-shaped parchment paper. Divide the shrimp evenly on top of each of the packets. Drizzle with the remaining garlic-oil mixture.
- Seal the packets by folding the heart in half and twisting the edges closed. Place packets on preheated grill for 4-5 minutes, or until the shrimp is opaque and the pineapple is warm.
- To serve, layer the pineapple, shrimp and sauce over top of the rice. Use caution when opening the packets—the steam is hot!