Saturday, September 8, 2012

Onion Bombs (Camping Food)

I found this one on Pinterest, and it was a camping food I have never heard of.  
I did a decent amount of camping (particularly with Girl Scouts) in my younger days so it was fun to browse Pinterest for camping food and stumble upon some old favorites, and some new ones!  We made these back in June on a beach camping trip to Pismo Beach. 


These are called meatloaf in onion balls on Pinterest.   I called them Onion Bombs the whole time. Honestly, I am not sure where I came up with that. (I THOUGHT I saw it on Pinterest, but now that I go back to link to the pins and post, I don't see onion "bombs" anywhere.  Weird.)   Close enough...
It's basically just meatballs wrapped in onion halves to cook.  
And it's basically delicious.  :-)

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I suggest a couple of meatballs per person on average.  They vary pretty drastically in size, depending on the size of your onion pieces.  One onion gave me 2 decent sized "wrappers", 2-3 medium sized, and a few tiny ones.

As prep, you just take off the outer onion paper stuff, and chop it in half, as evenly as you can!  Then you separate the pieces into matching pairs from the outside to the inside.  They LOOK big enough, but when you put them together there isn't as much room inside as you might think. 

(**Note:  This step could be done at the campsite if you wanted to keep the onions fresher or whatever.  I prepared them entirely at home.) 


Next (or before or at the same time if you are working with your boyfriend) you want to prepare the meatballs.  I followed the recipe I found via Pinterest as far as additions to the meat.  But I started it with some Italian sausages from our friends' butcher shop. (About 2 lbs meat?)  I also chopped up a few cloves of garlic, added ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, and salt/pepper.  Hand mix it all together!
 (Don't start making the meatballs until you are ready to wrap them!) 


Once you have the meat mixed up, and the onions cut and matched up (at campsite, or at home), you are ready to wrap!   The size of each meatball is going to depend on the onions.  So just use your judgement and roll up some meatballs.  Squish them between two pieces of onion and voila! Some meat might push out the ends but it's fine because you will be wrapping them in foil.  I tried to keep them as compact as possible, though.  I had a few of every size when I was done.  Big tomato size to small lime sized.  :-)
Then I wrapped them each in foil with a twist at the top.  I used one layer of regular foil and one of heavy duty since I knew they would be thrown in the fire.  Be careful not to rip or poke holes in the foil, especially the outer layer. Ash is not a good condiment. 


This is my boyfriend putting the balls into the fire.  There are probably numerous tools for doing this but we didn't have any or (if we did, like a shovel, duh!) we didn't think to use them.  I just let the (getting drunk) boys be boys.  You can see a couple of them in the bottom of the pic, at the front of the fire.  He tried to get them in where there were coals. 


Here is a close up of one of those in the front.
We let them cook for about 10 minutes, flipped them around, and another 10 minutes (or so).  I don't think leaving them a little longer would have done any harm, as the onion keeps the meat nice and juicy. 


I didn't get any pics before the men started digging in and saucing them up. (Ketchup, Sriracha, etc)
But, they were delicious!  Fresh out of the foil the onion wrappers were nice and charred and sweet smelling.  The meatballs were super moist and had yummy grilled onion flavors soaking into them. 
Everyone in camp loved them.  We (6 people) ate every last one and wished we had more. 


This was a big success and I KNOW I will be making them again as soon as dirtbike season is in full swing.  They are just so easy and convenient.  Minimal prep time, ready to throw on the fire when you get to camp,  sand resistant, they are a good "first night camping" meal.  I'm so happy I found these on Pinterest! 


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Thanks for visiting!  Feel free to browse through my food blog,
 for more recipes and some restaurant reviews around So Cal. 

You can also find me on Pinterest here....

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You are also cordially invited to stop by my non-food blog (kinda lifestyle, kinda random, whatever...)
at Living In Neverland.

Also... (also also!?) I'd like to mention that I am a contributor (in a very inconsistent, probably annoying to the other ladies way) to a fun book review site.  So if you like to read and/or read about books (particularly YA fiction and romance, but really, almost anything is fair game for us them) please stop by and check them us out at The Readers Cafe.  

67 comments:

  1. We live in ca and go to the beach for the day pretty frequently. I'm definately trying this!!! This looks so yummy!! And EASY!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

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  2. Sounds like the perfect camping food!

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  3. That looks really good. I think I'll try it when I get a chance!

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  4. Do you have the recipe for the meatball mixture? I have a meatloaf recipe but would love to try the Italian sausage mixture?

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  5. Looks good I'll try some this summer

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  6. I don't mean to put a damper on what looks like a tasty recipe but highly recommend not preparing these much in advance as raw onion and raw hamburger or sausage is unsafe if not cooked right away. Also, as you probably already know, it would be really necessary to keep them refrigerator cold. I know experienced cooks would know this but those less experienced might not.

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  7. Hi ! A camper makes things a little easier, that's for sure! - more

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  8. Thats nice. Thanks for proving this recipe.

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  9. Nice onion balls, but your choice of firewood is very toxic ! That's either a piece of RR tie or landscape timber, but both are BAD 4 even a campfire (unless @ beach) cuz of the toxic smoke.

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  12. This looks easy, and full of energy. It must have loads of energy in it, which is crucial outdoors.
    I am going to try these the next time I go backpacking.

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  13. Approx how long did you leave the small ones on the coals vs the larger ones. (I know we won't want to be opening them to check how done they are)

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  14. This sounds really great, I'm definitely going to try them.

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  15. Can these be made ahead and frozen?

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  35. I really like this idea. Onion bomb meatballs! Drop some carrots and potatoes and celery if you want in some boiling water at home while you prepare the bombs. Let it cook maybe 10 min. They won't be all done. But add them to the bombs in the foil when you cook. You could even sprinkle on all of it some beef gravy mix (I buy the big bottle at costco) just before closing the foil. So awesome.

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