Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mustard Roasted Fish

When Ina Garten calls a recipe "the easiest main course I can ever make," you know you need to add it into your weeknight repertoire, STAT. From unpacking groceries to the dinner table, this mustard roasted fish literally came together in under 15 minutes. The fish comes with a delicious mustard and caper sauce that adds a nice kick to the mild fish. 

Now, Ina calls for Red Snapper, which is quite delicious, but also quite expensive. At my local market, it costs almost $25 a pound! I opted instead for Turbot fillets since I am trying to save for a pair of fabulous shoes live on a budget. 

This was the perfect weeknight dinner--and made me feel like a modern-day Ina Garten. Now, if only I could get her house in the Hamptons...

Mustard Roasted Fish

From Ina Garten
Serves four

4 eight-ounce fish fillets such as red snapper or turbot
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces creme fraiche
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole-grained mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons drained capers

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet plan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Combine the creme fraiche,mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. 

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it is barely done. (The fish will flake easily at the thickest part of the fish.) Be sure not to overcook it! Serve hot or at room temperature with the sauce from the pan spooned over the top.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Homemade Ricotta and Ricotta Toasts

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! I had such a wonderful weekend, and I am sad it is now at an end. Zach was visiting DC for work, and our weekend was filled with chocolate chip cookies, long walks, and a beer tasting with friends.

When Zach is in town, I use him as a guinea pig on new recipes, and homemade ricotta was calling my name. Homemade ricotta is deceptively quite simple to make! From start to finish, the recipe only took 10 minutes of active cooking time. 

This ricotta would make a great food gift (in a beautiful container and a hand-written note) or would be perfect for entertaining. Even if you serve it with store-bought bread or pasta, everyone will be impressed that you made the ricotta!

I made both sweet and savory ricotta snacks. One is simply bread, ricotta, roasted tomatoes, olive oil, and fresh black pepper.  The sweet ricotta dish is bread, ricotta, raspberries, and honey. Try them out next time you have friends over!

Ricotta Cheese

from Bon Appétit Magazine
about 1 cup of ricotta

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or distilled white vinegar

Combine milk, cream, and salt in a pot, and cook over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat. 

 Add lemon juice (or vinegar), and stir gently until mixture starts to curdle. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Pour mixture into a fine-mesh sieve lined with two layers of cheesecloth, set over a medium bowl. Chill until the cheese is spreadable, at least 20 minutes and up until 12 hours. The cheese should last for about three days covered in the fridge.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Any Day Chicken Sauté

A few months ago, I shared a recipe for Any Day Chicken Sauté from The Bonne Femme Cookbook from Wini Moranville. It's still one of my go-to recipes for weeknight dinners. Given that it is such a staple recipe, I thought I would re-share the recipe, this time with pictures!

This chicken recipe is really straightforward and simple, but the flavor is impeccable. I typically follow the recipe as is, but last time I swirled in a few tablespoons of Trader Joe's fig butter into the sauce--AMAZING!

This is a great recipe to have in your back pocket for an evening that requires a step up from your usual leftovers when friends or family decide to stop by. They'll leave thinking you eat delicious, French-inspired meals every night. As for the leftovers? That can just be our little secret.

Check back here tomorrow for weekend reading!

Any Day Chicken Sauté

From The Bonne Femme Cookbook

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley, chives, or chevril (I actually used thyme here instead, and it was delicious as well!)
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon heavy cream (totally optional--I didn't use it!)

Place the chicken breasts, one at a time, between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4 inch thickness (I personally skipped this step, but just know that the chicken will take slightly longer to cook).Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. 

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until no longer pink inside, 6 to 8 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a platter, sprinkle with herbs, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the shallot to the pan and sauté briefly, until translucent. 

Add the chicken broth and white wine to the pan.  Stir with a whisk to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil and boil until the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup.  

Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time.  If you like, add the cream.  Cook the sauce to the desire consistency, and season with salt and pepper.  Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

French Onion Soup

When I was in high school, my father would award my stellar academic success bribe me to get good grades by promising me a meal at the restaurant of my choice (he clearly knew me well). These special celebratory meals would always include fine white tablecloths, great views of San Diego, French onion soup, and creme brûlée.

There is something about French onion soup that is a true comfort meal to me. It's bubbly and crispy cheese, soaked baguette, and rich soup with oodles of onions is a perfect starter to a fancy dinner or a great accompaniment to a salad for lunch. The French truly perfected this recipe.

Luckily for us, French onion soup is easy enough to bring home (now, if only creme brûlée were easier!). It does take a few hours, but I highly recommend this recipe for a Sunday night. If you're vegetarian, simply sub in vegetable broth instead of beef broth. Extra bonus--the recipe calls for red wine, so you might as well split the rest of the bottle between you and your date!

French Onion Soup

Recipe from Tyler Florence

1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine
3 heaping tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated Gruyere

Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pot. Cook until the onions are soft and caramelized, about 25-35 minutes.

Add the wine, bring to a boil, and reduce heat, and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and the thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes.

Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into bowls, then top with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls in the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

Monday, April 21, 2014


hilarystonesoup.com 10 ways to use rotisserie chicken
Rotisserie chicken is without a doubt one of my favorite take-out meals. Whether I am working late and need a quick dinner or I am feeding friends dinner, rotisserie chicken never disappoints. My trusty neighborhood Glen's Garden Market has great quality rotisserie chickens, and then I just grab some sides from their deli counter on my way out. When I am looking for something healthy and satisfying, this is my go-to dinner. 

One of the BEST things though about rotisserie chicken is the leftover chicken. I thought I would share some of my favorite ways here!
  1. Shredded chicken is a great protein to add to your lunch salads.
  2. Toss shredded chicken into your chicken soup or store-bought soups for some extra pizazz.
  3. Chicken. Mayo. Lemon juice. Salt. Pepper. Celery. Scallions. Minced parsley.
  4. Elevate your late-night cheese quesadillas with some leftover rotisserie chicken.
  5. Make enchiladas a weeknight reality by saving yourself some time and using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.
  6. Who doesn't love creamy sauce, vegetables, puff pastry, and chicken?
  7. Shredded chicken + pasta sauce + pasta = ultimate lazy dinner
  8. Add some chicken to a pesto pizza and you've got a whole meal!
  9. Using this recipe, bring this take-out staple home.
  10. Shred chicken. Add a delicious sauce (like BBQ or buffalo). Serve on toasted buns. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Weekend Reading

Image via
I'm out in Dallas spending the weekend with family.  Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend enjoying spring and all of the beautiful things it brings--great weather, fresh flowers, and delicious produce!

Antitrust issues + coffee = news about two of my favorite topics

What to do with Passover/Easter leftovers: 9 ways to use hard-boiled eggs

My dessert bucket list for the next time I'm in SF

My favorite home store in DC, Salt & Sundry, is opening a second store on 14th St (where all the cool kids are)

Yes, there really is a gefilte fish shortage

Chobani is getting back at Whole Foods and releasing three new product lines, including savory yogurt dips

Mix up your matzo brei with these three recipes

DC favorite Jose Andres is going to blog for National Geographic about food security and climate change. Let's hope he includes some recipes!

Grocery delivery service Instacart promises to bring you food from all of your favorite stores, including Whole Foods and Costco

Around the world in 20 photos

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Coconut Macaroons

Chag sameach ("happy holidays" in Hebrew) to all of my readers celebrating Passover! Growing up, Passover was a joyous holiday, even though it means sacrificing delicious things like pastries, pasta, and bread for eight days. 

Passover always starts with two nights of festive meals, filled with family and friends, as we recount the story of how the Jews were enslaved in Egypt, and how G-d rescued us from slavery. Though it is a serious holiday, the Passover Seder is also supposed to be engaging for all members of the family.

Being so far away from home this year, I am lucky to have the opportunity to attend three very different and unique Seders. One Seder with family in Maryland, one with new friends here in DC, and another Seder coming up this weekend with both my family and my boyfriend Zach's family. None of them are "traditional" per se, but they certainly made me feel at home for the holiday.

Every year during Passover, I rely on desserts that do not require any flour, like these coconut macaroons. Why bother with cakes and cookies made with potato starch instead of flour? These macaroons are so simple and easy to make--I can't believe I spent years buying them from the store! 

They are a perfect addition to your spring holiday table, whether you are celebrating Passover or Easter! 

Coconut Macaroons

From Ina Garten
Makes 20-24 cookies

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4-6 ounces of chocolate melted 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Combine the coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. 

Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer (I used a hand mixer) until they make medium-firm peaks. Medium firm peaks are just stiff enough to stand up firmly when the mixer is removed from the bowl, but they have a slight curl at the tips.

Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. You can check out these photos from my Chocolate Mousse to see how to fold. 

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using two teaspoons. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Once cooled, drizzle with the melted chocolate. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

Goat cheese stuffed dates is my new go-to snack/salad addition/appetizer. It can be your new favorite too.  Yes, they sound very impressive. Yes, I promise they are easy to make. Yes, your friends will be jealous impressed with your new-found cooking skills. 

I love finding out that my favorite restaurant treats (like these dates during happy hour) are simple enough to recreate at home. Why not have our own happy hour right at home with some great drinks and these dates?

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

Serves one
Recipe from Dash and Bella

8 pitted dates
1/4 cup goat cheese
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Splash of olive oil

Preheat your broiler. Fill each date with goat cheese--no need to be perfect here! 

Set the dates on a baking sheet. Splash with olive oil and vinegar. 

Place under the broiler for approximately four minutes. You want the dates to be warmed thoroughly, the cheese to turn a little brown, but make sure the dates do not burn.

Serve alone, in a citrus salad, or any other way you please!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Weekend Reading

Blue Bottle Coffee is headed to LA!

Karl the Fog's Twitter account is just too good.

Urban Turf reporting Eataly might make its way to the Nation's capital...hurry up and get here soon!

One Rejuvinator please, minus the hair fiasco! Silly Portlandia.

Must get my hands on these three books: Delancey, My Paris Kitchen, and The Flower Recipe Book

14 great peanut butter recipes.

Dying to check out the After Peacock Room for a spring tea time date. 

And in case you cannot be in DC to see them yourself, check out the cherry blossom trees via this live feed camera!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with sunshine, great coffee, the Sunday New York Times, and of course, good food. 

Greek Turkey Burgers

Thanks to this gorgeous weather, it finally feels like spring! I went out and saw the cherry blossoms last night, and I must say, they were stunning. This warmer weather is getting me so excited for the weekend! I cannot wait to spend all day Saturday outside.

Follow me @hilstone on Instagram for more updates!
And with the warmer weather, I am more inspired to cook lighter, healthier, food. I already shared my healthy Greek yogurt dip which I love paring with veggies. It also works as the perfect sauce for this Greek-inspired Turkey burgers! 

I love the feta, dill, and red onion filling in these turkey burgers. I made the burgers without spinach, but feel free to add it in for an extra iron and vitamin boost. 

Check back tomorrow for some interesting weekend reading links! 

Greek Turkey Burgers

Serves 4
From Ellie Krieger

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 lean ground turkey breast
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the feta cheese, dill, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. 

Divide the turkey into 4 equal-sized rounds. Make 2 equal sized patties out of each round so you have 8 patties total. 

Put 2 tablespoons of the spinach-feta mixture onto half of the patties. Top with remaining patties, and seal the edges of the burgers closed. Season the burgers on both sides with the remaining salt and pepper.

Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray, and heat over medium high. Grill patties until cooked thoroughly, about 5 minutes on each side.

I served mine on a slice of toasted whole wheat bread with avocado, roasted red peppers, and the Greek yogurt dipping sauce.  Enjoy!


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