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Saturday
Mar282015

Masters' Pimento-Cheese Sandwich

The pimento cheese sandwich is to The Masters Tournament (begins April 6th - Sunday April 12th in Augusta, GA) - as a good BBQ slider would be at a Super Bowl weekend tailgate. There are many stories claiming the sandwich's origin (not sure which one to believe) and there are many versions of this recipe (I have my own). BTW, you can get one at The Masters for the reasonable price tag of $1.50.

The Masters' pimento-cheese sandwich is a highly guarded secret recipe. I'm thinking the recipe might come with the green jacket though! If you are not in contention to receive the jacket this weekend you might want to watch comfortably at home with your own sandwich. 

To make six Pimento-Cheese Sandwiches, use whole wheat or white bread spread with pimento-cheese filling.

Blend all ingredients in a food processor, 1/4 cup each shredded extra-sharp cheddar yellow cheese, Monterey jack cheese, softened cream cheese, drained jarred pimento, 1 Tablespoon Duke's Mayonnaise. Add a pinch of sea salt, pepper and a dash of hot pepper sauce. 

Optional additions: chopped hard boiled eggs, sliced vidalia onions, watercress

Friday
Mar272015

Know Your Fire: Asian-Style Tuna Burger


Hamburger is the most popular food for the grill, followed by steak and chicken. Did you know — one out of every five times Americans fire-up the grill, it's to cook a hamburger? A burger does not have to be all beef, such as my crowd pleasing and winning The George Burger. But what if you don't feel beefy today? Solution, try a meaty tuna burger. It's delicious, lean and good for you too. Top of with wasabi dressing and you are off to a hot start for the weekend. 

George's Tuna Burger
Makes 4 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna, either yellowfin, blue, or ahi
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 marinade recipe
4 burger buns
1 bunch arugula, washed and dried

For Asian Style Marinade
Makes 1 cup

2 fresh limes
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons ginger, chopped fine
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh Cilantro, chopped

Cut the zest from the limes. Place the limes on a cutting board and firmly roll them back and forth with the palm of your hand to loosen the juice. Cut the limes in half and squeeze out the juice. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice with the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Cut the tuna into 1-inch pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Using an on-off motion, grind the tuna for 45 to 60 seconds, or until it is chopped but not pureed. Over processing the tuna will make it warm.

Transfer the tuna to a bowl, stir in the egg whites, and mix well. Add the cilantro, lime zest, hot sauce and mustard. Blend well. Shape the tuna mixture into four burgers. Place them in the marinade and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.

Place the burgers on a preheated hot grill and cook them 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until rare or medium rare. Over cooking the burgers will dry them out. Place the burgers on a bun and serve on a bed of arugula.

Tuesday
Mar242015

Sunchokes

Aka, Jerusalem artichokes + the earth apple; a species of sunflower, native to North America. Italians refer to this plant as girasole, a possible fore runner of the name Jerusalem. 

sunchokes

Prepare as you would potatoes - roast, sauté, bake, boil or steam. Cook with or without the skin - scrub clean and leave it on for added nutritional benefit. Like an avacado or apple that oxidizes, after peeling or cutting, drop pieces into water with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Unlike potatoes, sunchokes can also be eaten raw as a crunchy addition to salads. They are also an excellent addition to stir frys, when sliced and added raw as a crisp substitute for water chestnuts.

Sunchokes contain vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium and are a very good source of iron. Sunchokes are very rich in inulin (not insulin), a carbohydrate linked with good intestinal health due to its probiotic properties. 

roasted sunchoke chips recipe

Sunchoke Chips Gremolata
Makes four servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle 

1 pound sunchokes, well scrubbed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

For Gremolata:
2 Tablespoons fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon, Lemon Zest

Mix all ingredients and sprinkle gremolata on roasted sunchokes.

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees F. 

In a heavy duty roasting pan big enough so sunchokes are on one layer and not crowded, mix sliced sunchokes, rosemary, olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender and golden. Turn sunchokes over with a spatula to allow top side to brown. When golden brown, remove and top with gremolata.

Serve with an optional Aioli.

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The technique with making an aïoli is to try and create an emulsion with the egg yolks supporting the liquid from the olive oil. Do not over pulse or pound the yolks and oil, don't add the oil too slow or too fast. This technique may take some trial and error. If done correctly  you will have a thick mayonnaise like sauce; or if the sauce is broken the oil will have separated from the yolks and will look more like a vinaigrette.

Classic Aïoli
Makes 1 1/2 cups

*8 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Coarse sea salt
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon juice
couple drop of water
Fresh ground black pepper

Always use caution with raw eggs. And this sauce must be kept chilled after it is prepared. 

In a food processor or preferably a mortar pound the garlic cloves with pinch of sea salt and Dijon mustard until a thick paste forms. Add in the egg yolks and begin adding in the olive oil a few drops at a time with a fork or whisk. Continue to add the olive oil in a steady stream as the aioli begins to thicken. Stop and add a few drops of lemon juice, gradually add remaining olive oil and a few drops of water if the sauce becomes too thick. When all of the oil has been incorporated, season the aïoli with additional lemon juice, sea salt and pepper to taste.

Serve chilled. The aioli can be tightly covered and refrigerated overnight. 

* A classic aïoli is made with raw garlic but again I prefer using caramelized garlic in place of raw garlic which offers a much sweeter and nuttier taste.