December 2006


I’d always wanted to go to Chelsea Market AND the Food Network studios in NYC. What a coincidence that they are in the same place! Last week we went to New York for a few days and my wish finally came true!

Chelsea Market was awesome. The best breads, desserts, fish, meats, homemade Italian foods etc… I’ve ever seen in one place. They had this unbelievable kitchen store (I’m sure the Food Network gets all their stuff there) that must have had every gadget and gizmo known to man.

And, we did see the entrance to the Food Network offices and studios. It was quite a thrill for me. 🙂 And yes, I was the loser who made my boyfriend take a picture with me on front of the entrance. I’m sure he was embarassed.

I went to sleep that night dreaming of what it would be like to work there…

In Front of the Food Network Studios

This year, I was tasked with cooking Christmas eve dinner at my boyfriend’s house in Boston. I wanted to do a traditional meal since it was a special evening.

We had purchased a standing rib roast for the occasion. A few years ago I cooked a creole mustard, rosemary and garlic crusted prime rib for my boyfriends birthday and I thought it would be the perfect dish for the occasion.

The recipe is Emeril’s originally, but was modified by my friend Beej who is now a personal chef/caterer.

Creole Mustard, Rosemary and Garlic Crusted Prime Rib

In a blender combine:

1 cup creole mustard
10 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped onion
2-3 sprigs of Rosemary,
1/2 c. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

The original recipe called for it to be marinated in this for 24 hours, but we did it for 2 and it was just fine :-).

Pour the mixture over a 3-5 lb. standing rib roast. Marinate for 2-24 hours.

Bake at 425 for 30 minutes and then lower the temp to 350 for another hour. Check the temp with a meat thermometer every 15 minutes for your desired doneness. Personally, I like it to be medium-rare, which is 145 degrees inside.

Take the roast out of the oven and let stand for 15 minutes so the juices can redistribute. Slice and serve! 🙂

I also made bacon and leek mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus with this – it was the perfect holiday meal!

Gracie Allen’s Classic Recipe for Roast Beef

1 large Roast of beef

1 small Roast of beef

Take the two roasts and put them in the oven. When the little one burns, the big one is done.

PS If you have to ask, “Who is Gracie Allen?” please just delete this.

I’m sorry I haven’t posted as promised…I haven’t been interested in getting on a computer in quite a few days. Anyways, below is the Hillman’s Helpings from last Thursday. I’ll begin posting some great recipes tomorrow when I return from my trip.

Hillman’s Helpings #10
An Old Standby

Hello!
Happy Chanukah and Merry (almost) Christmas! We had a Chanukah party at our apartment the other night with lots and lots of food; TWO kinds of latkes, chicken satay, roasted veggies, pigs in blankets, spinach-artichoke dip…not to mention the multitude of desserts we had…all for only 8 people. Needless to say we had a TON of leftovers. Jame, I know how you love leftovers!
There will be no Hillman’s Helpings next week, as I will be in New York and Boston for the Holidays, but look for one on January 4th, 2007! The good news is that I will still be be updating my blog regularly so please log on if you get a moment and need a good recipe.

Today’s recipe is one that I turn to whenever I can’t think of anything else to make – it’s an old standby that never lets me down. It’s also really easy! Baked dijon chicken is perfect for a weeknight when you have no energy to chop, dice or sauté.

Enjoy!

Lauren Hillman

Baked Dijon Chicken
Serves 2

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray (so the chicken doesn’t stick).

Combine 2 tbs. dijon mustard and 2 tbs. evaporated milk in a bowl. Combine 2 tbs. breadcrumbs (seasoned) and 1 tbs. grated parmesan cheese in a separate bowl.

Note: you can find evaporated milk (even fat free!) in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. Buy the smallest can available because you’ll probably use it in small amounts.

Dip 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into the mustard mix first, then the breadcrumb mix. Place them in the baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown.

Bon Appetit!

Hi all,

Ben’s (my boyfriend’s) co-workers had a small holiday gathering yesterday afternoon during which they opened secret Santa gifts, ate, drank etc… What he forgot to tell me until a few days before the party was that I was supposed to make something to bring. Now, normally I wouldn’t have cared, but we’re having our own holiday party at our apartment today (Sunday) that I’ve been preparing for…

So, I tried to figure out a good thing to bring that wouldn’t be too difficult. Everyone had been over our apartment before and they knew I was capable of cookng so I couldn’t just bring chips/dip, veggies/dip etc… you get the picture.

A lightbulb when off in my head when I thought of the perfect dish to bring…Brie en Croute!

It was such a hit – everyone was so impressed and and no idea it took no time at all.

Brie en Croute

Ingredients:
Wheel of brie
One sheet of puff pastry (in the freezer aisle)
1 tb. butter
1/2 c. walnuts
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
egg
Crackers/bread (for serving with)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Defrost the puff pastry on the counter for about 20 minutes and unfold it. Place the wheel of brie in the center of the patry.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the walnuts, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon and stir to coat the walnuts.

Place the walnut mixture on top of the brie. Gently fold up the edge of the puff pastry and secure at the top so that no brie is showing (its ok if its ugly).

Beat the egg and brush it over the patry. Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy the gooey, yummy cheese!

Good morning! I send out a weekly newsletter to some friends and family each Thursday morning, but I’m going to start posting them on the blog as well, so people can ask questions, make comments etc… So, ask away!

Hillman’s Helpings #9
A Recipe For Lexi

Hello!
Today is a special day because my little sister is turning 21! I can now breathe easy knowing I won’t get in trouble for giving her my old drivers license. Happy Birthday Seeester!

In honor of Lexi’s birthday I’m giving you a Holiday Peppermint Bark recipe (coincidentally, the holidays are upon us!). Lexi LOVES peppermint bark. I’ve been making this recipe for the past few years. Not only is it super easy, but it is also a great gift to give to co-workers, friends, hosts etc…

I’m also providing a chicken recipe I made quite a bit while I was in college. It’s pretty random and a little (and I mean a LITTLE) bit trickier than the rest have been, but the results speak for themselves.

Lastly, I want to officially announce the Hillman’s Helpings blog! Thanks to a friend who put the idea in my head. 🙂 I’ll cross-post each newsletter and you’ll be able to comment on the recipes, ask questions etc… I’ll also post other things I make or any random cooking thoughts that come to mind. The blog can be accessed by going to this website.

Enjoy!

Lauren Hillman

Holiday Peppermint Bark
For Lexi

Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

Microwave 2-12 oz. packages of dark chocolate chips on medium-high for 1 minutes. Stir the chocolate. Place the bowl back in the microwave for 10 seconds. Stir again. Repeat until the chips are all melted.

Spread the dark chocolate onto the wax paper and place in the freezer to harden for at least 30 minutes.

Place 5-7 candy canes (unwrapped, obviously) in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin (or other heavy object) until there are some small pieces and some fine pieces of candy cane (like sand).

Melt 2-12 oz. bags of white chocolate chips the same way you melted the dark chocolate chips.

Cut the smallest corner of the plastic bag and pour the sand-like candy cane pieces into the melted white chocolate. Stir to incorporate.

Spread the white chocolate onto the now frozen dark chocolate. Sprinkle the larger pieces of candy canes onto the white chocolate. Press them down lightly so they will adhere to the chocolate. Place in the freezer.

When the bark has completely frozen, carefully separate the wax paper from the bark and break into pieces. Eat!

Chicken, Pear and Spinach Skillet
Serves 2

Heat 1 tbs. vegetable oil in a skillet and cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts until brown on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side). The chicken does not have to be cooked all the way through.

While the chicken is cooking, combine 2 tbs. white wine, 3 tsp. soy sauce, 2/3 c. liquid from a can of sliced pears (I know, a little strange, but trust me), 3 tsp. cornstarch, 1/4 tsp. thyme in a bowl. Stir to make sure the cornstarch has dissolved in the liquid. Cornstarch helps to thicken sauces.

Remove the chicken from the pan and add 1/2 c. chopped onion and 1 clove of chopped garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are a bit translucent. Add the pear/soy/cornstarch mixture and cook until the sauce has thickened.

Add the browned chicken, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Add the slices pears from the can and a large handful of fresh spinach. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until the spinach has wilted.

Bon Appetit!

So, last night it took literally 20 minutes to make this wonderful recipe. It calls for some random ingredients (shrimp flavor packet from ramen noodles, and the noodles themselves) but it is so good and such a hit with my boyfriend any time I make it. Beware though – it has a kick to it!

Shrimp with Green Curry – Serves 2

Saute one small chopped onion and one clove of garlic until translucent. Add 2 teaspoons of flour and cook two minutes. Whisk in 1 cup chicken stock, 1 cup light coconut milk, one teaspoon of green curry paste, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and the flavor packet of a shrimp ramen noodles package.

Once the liquid is uniform, add the ramen noodles and shrimp (16 for two people). Add two handfuls of frozen peas and cook until the shrimp is no longer translucent and the noodles are cooked.

Enjoy!

Let me know if you have any questions about this recipe.

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