Sgroppino

Here's a Thanksgiving toast for you. Cheers!

All Champagne, by definition, must come from vineyards in the Champagne region of France. This is a small region comprising three districts which include the towns of Reims, Troyes, Charleville-Mezier and Chalons. Prosecco, produced in the Veneto region of Italy is considered an everyday drink or sparkling wine. Unlike most Champagne it does not improve with age and should really be consumed within six months of the time it’s purchased, or within a year of bottling. It tends to be dryer than many Champagnes. A good Prosecco, is inexpensive and very drinkable; right for any occasion even breakfast.

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Sgroppino Italian Cocktail

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

Chill 4-6 Champagne flutes 

2 cups chilled Prosecco (Italian sparkling white wine) 

2 Tablespoons chilled vodka 

1 cup frozen lemon sorbet 

2 Tablespoons half & half 

4 fresh strawberries, split for garnish 

4 fresh mint leaves 

Mix Prosecco, vodka, sorbet and half & half in blender for 1 minute. Pour mixture immediately into chilled champagne flutes. Top with berries and mint. 

13 EPISODES on 4 HD-DVD Disk Set
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Chocolate Pecan Filo Pie

This is one of those desserts that your guests won't forget. I promise they will ask you for the recipe. TIP: Be sure to use really good quality chocolate; this will add to the success of this crowd pleasing dessert recipe. 

George Hirsch Pecan Filo Pie
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image: Hirsch Media

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Thanksgiving Countdown: Favorite Sides

This is the part of the Thanksgiving menu that does it for me. Steamy whipped mashed potatoes with flecks of caramelized garlic- my absolute favorite, especially with a side of Honey Grilled Acorn Squash. Don't get me wrong, I won't pass up on the sweet potatoes and cranberry dressing. But if my plate is too full, then I might wait on the Wild Rice Stuffing until my next serving, then pair it with some Savory Herb Gravy.

George Hirsch Lifestyle Mousseline Potatoes
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Pumpkin Ravioli

Ravioli, a pasta whose name derives from the verb "to wrap" (ravvolgere).

George Hirsch Pumpkin Ravoli

A century ago stuffed pasta with vegetable-based fillings were eaten on Fridays and during Lent. The meat-stuffed varieties, on the other hand, were a day-after treat made with the leftover meats from Sunday dinners or festive meals. Autumn is the perfect time to stuff-it with fall squash or what has become a viewer favorite from my TV series - pumpkin.

TIPS: 

Uncooked ravioli will freeze well for a two months, when stored flat in single layers.

Make mini ravioli for soups.

Ricotta Pasta Dough

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

3 1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour, variable

10 ounces ricotta, well drained

2 whole eggs, beaten

1 egg yolk, add to beaten eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt 

To Mix By Hand:

Mound 3 1/2 cups of the flour and salt in the center of a large wooden cutting board or use a large deep bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the ricotta and eggs. Begin to mix all ingredients by hand folding the flour round and round. 

The dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated. At this point, start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands. 

Once the dough comes together, remove the dough from the bowl and scrape up and discard any leftover bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 6 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. If too sticky add a little more flour.

Wrap the dough in plastic, refrigerate overnight or allow to rest for at least one hour. Because of the eggs, the Ricotta Dough should be cooked or frozen within three days.

Roll or shape as desired. 

From here you can prepare ravioli, fettuccini, pappardelle, or endless variety of shapes. 

Divide the dough into four pieces. Lightly dust a large wooden board with flour and roll slightly by hand, repeat dusting with flour flipping dough over as you make it thinner and thinner. The trick is to use just the right amount of flour, too little it will stick, too much and the pasta will become tough when cooked. 

A pasta dough machine with metal rollers and cutters is ideal to give you variety of options. But with a little practice by hand, you’ll roll the dough like a pro. 

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George's Pumpkin Ravioli Recipe
Makes four-six servings
chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle 

4 pre-made pasta sheets or 1 recipe George’s Ricotta Pasta Dough

For the Pumpkin Filling:
1/2 cup can pumpkin
1 cup fresh ricotta, well drained
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
Pinch fresh nutmeg
Fresh ground black pepper
Optional,  1 Tablespoon dried bread crumbs if filling is too moist

To Fill Ravioli: 
Lay out pasta sheet on a lightly floured board. Cut into two inch squares with a knife or pastry cutter. Put 1 Tablespoon pumpkin filling in the center using either a pastry bag or a small spoon. Leave a 1/4-inch border all around the filling. Moisten borders with water and top with remaining rounds of dough. Press all the air out and seal firmly by pressing all around with fingertips. Place raviolis on a lightly floured board or baking sheet and lightly sprinkle the tops with fine corn meal to keep from sticking. Repeat until you run out of dough and/or filling. 

Prepare the sauce, then cook the ravioli, by boiling in lightly salted water until tender, about 3 minutes. 

Butter & Sage Sauce:
6 Tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
3 fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup pecan pieces
Parmesan cheese to taste 

Heat a sauté pan and melt butter. As butter begins to brown add garlic clove, pecans and sage leaves. Remove ravioli directly from water and place in sauté pan to coat with butter. Add about 2 Tablespoons pasta water to sauce. Serve on a warm platter with  with olive oil and Parmesan cheese.