August 2008

The flesh may be red, pink, orange or gold; it may have seeds or be seedless. Sone are the size of a small canteloupe. If selecting a whole melon, pick one that is symmetrical with a dull sheen on the rind, and check underneath to make sure it is yellowish-a sign it ripened on the ground. A watermelon, if truly ripe, will respond by giving up a thin green shaving if scraped with a fingernail. A cut piece of watermelon should be fragrant through the plastic wrap, and the flesh should appear dense and firm.


I can’t say enough good things about this cute Dupont Circle find. We had amazing service, drinks and fod and were seated in about 20 minutes on a Saturday night without a reservation! (Probably because it’s the middle of the summer and D.C. is pretty much empty.

Highlights Include – Oysters (Malpqeue), Shrimp Cocktail (some of the largest and juiciest shrimp I’ve ever tasted), Old Bay fries and the Lobster Roll (not too much mayo and a nice crispy bun)

To clean greens, separate leaves, discard any that are discolored, wilted or tough, and place in a large bowl or sink full of cold water. Swish around for 30 seconds or so, then lift them from the water so that the dirt and grit remain in the water. Repeat the process until the water is clear. Spinach, which is sandy, may take two or three rinses.

About Basil –

Not without reason called “the royal herb”, these versatile leaves have a gret affinity for tomatoes, fish and egg dishes, but they are good in almost all savory dishes. They darken quickly after cutting, and they should be added to hot foods at the end of cooking. Serve them as they do in Italy, in a bouquet of sprigs set in water in a small vase and used at the table for flavor food.

This was a super easy dinner for Mr. Hillman’s Helpings and his parents. The soy/ginger/sprite dipping sauce gives it a little twist. Enjoy!

1. In a bowl, combine 1 lb. ground turkey, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup chopped scallions, and 1 tb. soy sauce.

2. Form into 16 (or so) meatballs and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tb. soy sauce, 1/2 cup Sprite, 1 tb. sesame oil, 2 tsp. fresh grated giner, 1 tsp. garlic powder. Transfer half of the mixture to another small bowl for serving.

4. Heat the grill to medium and thread the turkey meatballs, 1-inch scallion pieces and slices of Asian pear wedges onto the skewers. Grill, turning occasionally and basting with the soy mixture until the kebabs are browned, 10 to 12 mins. Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping.



Happy August!

Today’s recipe was made up on a whim Monday night with whatever I had on hand in the fridge. The best part about this dish is that it took less than 20 minutes to make and didn’t require much clean up!


Serves 2

Preheat a skillet to medium heat. Add 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil and ½ tsp. sesame oil (for flavoring).

Add two chopped skinless, boneless chicken breasts to the pan. While the chicken is browning, chop one clove of garlic (and 1 tsp. of fresh ginger if you wish) and two heads of broccoli.

When the chicken has browned (about 4 minutes) add the garlic (and ginger if you wish) to the pan. Stir to combine with the chicken.

After 2 more minutes, add the chopped broccoli, 2 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. rice wine vinegar and another ½ tsp. sesame oil to the pan. Stir to combine. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover. Cook for 3-4 minutes more.

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve over rice or soba noodles.

Bon Appetit!


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings