I'm always looking for recipes that make me look like a better cook than I actually am, and this recipe from Sam Zien's Just Grill This! (reviewed in our June cooking column) has every element I like best about summer food: easy prep, easy cooking, easy cleanup -- but most of all, delicious results. You might know Zien as Sam the Cooking Guy, but I know him as That Guy Who Gave Me This Awesome Recipe.

Snapper Puttanesca

serves 4

A staple in the camping world, cooking in foil is not just easy, but the steam cooks everything really well, keeps it moist, and helps add a ton of flavor. It’s also fun to let people build their own.


  • Aluminum foil

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 11/2 pounds red snapper - in 4 small fillets

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 cup capers, optional--wait, make that not optional

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

Preheat the grill to medium.

Cut 4 sheets of foil about 20 inches long - fold each sheet in half. Drizzle a little oil on the center of each folded sheet, then add the fish. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, and thyme in a small bowl.

Top each piece of fish with some of the tomato mixture. Drizzle with the remaining oil.

Fold the foil over the fish, closing up and pinching the edges to seal tightly.

Place the packets on the grill and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the fish is opaque in the middle—which you won’t see since they’re sealed up, so you’ll have to trust me on the time, and if it’s wrong for your grill, adjust it next time.

Put them on plates and let your guests open the packets themselves - just warn them of potential steam.

BTW: You can have these all prepped, sealed, and ready to grill, waiting in your fridge. Just remember to take them out about 30 minutes before you plan on grilling them, okay?

Excerpted from Just Grill This! by Sam Zien Copyright © 2011 by Sam Zien. Excerpted by permission of Wiley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Read our review of this book.

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