This Latin-inspired hobo pack features one of our favorite Caribbean tubers, the yuca (pronounced yook-ah). Also knows as manioc or cassava, yuca is shaped like a long, narrow sweet potato. Its rough outer skin looks like scaly bark, often thickly coated with wax applied to keep it fresh during shipping. When cooked, the stark-white flesh has a slightly sweet, rather buttery flavor and a somewhat glutinous, chewy texture that works particularly well in situations like a hobo pack. Yuca takes a bit of preparation before you can combine it with the other ingredients, since it has both an underskin and a fibrous central core, both of which need to be removed.
1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently to mix well.
2. Tear off 4 sheets of heavy-duty foil, each about 2 feet long, and stack them one on top of another. Arrange the combined ingredients in the center of the top sheet. Fold up the sheets around the vegetables, one after another, turning the package a quarter turn each time and making sure that each sheet is well sealed around the vegetables. If necessary, split the ingredients and make 2 hobo packs. Or put the vegetables into a deep disposable foil pan and cover tightly with a double layer of heavy-duty foil.
3. Place the hobo pack (or packs) in the coals around the periphery of the fire, where the heat is less intense. Pile the coals up around the pack and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the pack from the coals, unroll the foil, and serve hot.
Adapted from Let the Flames Begin: Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Real Live Fire Cooking by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby (W.W. Norton, 2002). Copyright 2002 by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby.
Andrea Reusing is the creator of the restaurant Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C., and author of the book Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes. In this installment of The Key 3, she shares with Lynne Rossetto Kasper the techniques behind three of her favorite recipes: Turnip Soup, Overnight Braised Short Ribs and Tomato Salad.