As promised, I’ve attempted to recreate some of the amazing dishes I ate while I was in Mexico. Specifically, we went to Puerto Vallarta. In addition to the nice beaches, awesome weather and relaxing environment, Puerto Vallarta is home to an international food festival. As such, the city attracts some great chefs from all over the world.

We ate at some restaurants that blew us away – the food was unbelievable, but the views were as well. What could be better than eating a delicious meal on the top of a mountain, looking at a beautiful sunset!

But I digress… The meal I recreated for today’s issue came from our dinner at Vista Grill. I found it so interesting I just had to make it at home this week, and it turned out superb.


Serves 4 as an Appetizer

I know what you’re thinking – Why would I choose to eat soup in Mexico? Well, the description lured me in, and I wasn’t disappointed. The soup we ate probably had more fat and calories, but this version is just as good and super healthy.

Preheat a soup pot with 3 tb. extra virgin olive oil. Add 1 cup of chopped onion and 1 tbs. chopped garlic. Saute about five minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent – make sure not to allow the garlic to burn. Add 1/8 tsp. – 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, depending on whether or not you want a kick to your soup. Stir.

Add 2 cans of drained quartered artichoke hearts (in water). Cook for 1 minutes. Add 1/2 cup. white wine (any will do) and enough chicken stock to barely cover the artichokes – 2-3 cups. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a blender (or food processor) and blend until there is a uniform consistency. Transfer the pureed mixture back to the pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 tbs. half and half. Stir to incorporate and serve!

I added snipped fresh chives and garlicky croutons as a garnish.

Serves 4

Tea? Yes, tea! I thought it sounded weird too, but I was definitely intrigued. It turned out to be a great compliment to the coriander and super easy to recreate!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine 4 tbs. finely chopped shallot and 4 tbs. finely chopped parsley in a bowl. Add 1 tbs. ground coriander and the contents of a tea bag.

I used a Bromley decaf tea bag but I’m sure any type of tea will do.

Stir to incorporate. Add salt and pepper.

Lay out (4) 6 oz. pieces of salmon on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cover each piece of salmon completely with the coriander/tea mixture. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the covered salmon filets.

Bake exactly 10 minutes for perfect doneness.

Bon Appetit!

I hope you’ve enjoyed Hillman’s Helpings!


Lauren Hillman
Hillman’s Helpings