These days, celebrity chef Curtis Stone has a lot on his plate.
The author, television personality and father of two young boys recently opened his second L.A.-based restaurant, Gwen, and this year received a coveted Michelin star for his first, Maude. So he understands the challenges busy families face when it comes to getting quick, healthy and kid-friendly food on the table.
To keep the menu stress-free at home, Stone has a few tricks up his chef’s jacket. First, he said keeping an organized fridge is key.
He recommends removing items from the fridge that don’t need to be chilled, such as potatoes, garlic and onions — these are best stored in the pantry, Stone said — and investing in a few clear glass or plastic containers that can hold loose items that might otherwise get lost.
“Because the last thing you want to be doing is wasting food and throwing things away that you paid good money for,” Stone told WTOP.
When buying food, have a plan for extras. A little foresight could help to stock your freezer for busy days in the future.
“I always say you’ve got to have a second home for everything, so if you’re going to buy fresh tomatoes, and you might serve them in a tomato salad, what happens if you don’t get to those last couple? It’s always good to have a backup plan,” Stone said.
“Maybe you’re going to throw them into a soup that you’re going to make. And soup is a very good way to really make the most of different ingredients. And then you can always freeze it down and then use it at another time.”
Stone also finds it helpful to keep simple and versatile recipes in his repertoire — dishes that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes and served at nearly any occasion, like his crostini with melted strawberries and raspberries.
“You can serve it at the end of a meal or a snack — my kids have it when they get home from school, quite often. Also, if you’re doing a canopy party or cocktail party, it’s a nice way to wrap things up,” Stone said.
Crostini with Melted Strawberries and Raspberries
Courtesy of Bosch brand partner and award-winning chef Curtis Stone
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
- 12 baguette bread slices
- 8 ounces fresh strawberries, halved
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 8 ounces fresh raspberries
- Whole milk ricotta (optional)
Preheat broiler. Spread butter over one side of each slice of bread. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and broil for three minutes, or until tops are golden brown and crisp.
Meanwhile, heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add strawberries, maple syrup, and zest and cook for two minutes, or until berries soften just slightly and begin to release enough juice to form a syrup. Don’t let berries cook too long, or they will become mushy and lose their beautiful shape. Remove pan from heat and fold in raspberries.
Spoon ricotta atop crostini, if desired. Spoon warm berry mixture over crostini and serve immediately.
For this recipe and more from chef Curtis Stone, visit Bosch Heart of the Home.