• Yield: Serves 4

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.


  • 2 yuca (about 1 pound), skin and pink underskin peeled, center core removed, and flesh cut into chunks

  • 2 ears of corn, shucked, desilked, and cut into thirds

  • 1 ripe tomato about the size of a baseball, diced large

  • 3 tablespoons toasted cumin seeds (or 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin)

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced chile pepper of your choice

  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh oregano

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


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.

John Willoughby served as executive editor at Gourmet, senior editor at Cook's Illustrated and has co-authored eight cookbooks, including James Beard award-winner The Thrill of the Grill. He writes for publications such as The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Metropolitan Home and Saveur.
Christopher Schlesinger is a chef (he was the winner of the 1996 James Beard award for Best Chef of the Northeast), restaurateur, writer, cooking teacher and a founding member of the national organization Chefs 2000. With John Willoughby he co-authored five cookbooks, including the James Beard Cookbook award-winner The Thrill of the Grill. They also have a monthly feature in The New York Times, and have written articles for magazines such as GQ and Food & Wine. He serves as a contributing editor for Saveur magazine.