Classic Orange and Honey Cake

Mix, bake + serve in under an hour!

The perfect combination of locally made honey and citrus is what inspired today's post, playing off the color orange - and as seen on an episode of GHL. Enjoy a slice of my Orange Honey Cake with a hot cup of orange pekoe tea. BTW - the orange in the orange pekoe denotes the quality of the tea leaves in the blend and not orange flavor. Orange Pekoe is a good grade tea using full and bigger tea leaves.

Also, this recipe is a really easy one to whip up for a impromptu gathering since you can make, bake and eat this cake, in under one hour! Orange you glad about that? Enjoy!

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Honey Orange Cake

Makes 8 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

2/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup honey, heated

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 large eggs, separated

1 tsp. finely grated orange peel

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly grease and flour bottom and sides of a 9-inch pan.

In medium bowl, blend orange juice, honey, butter, egg yolks and orange peel; set aside. In large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.

In small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Mix orange juice mixture into flour mixture until blended. Gently fold in egg whites. Turn into prepared pan.

Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. On wire rack, cool 10 minutes; remove sides from pan and cool completely. Just before serving, sprinkle with confectioners sugar. To serve, cut into wedges and garnish, if desired, with peeled orange wedges and whipped cream. 

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keeping peace with Irish Coffee

I had an enjoyable afternoon tea with fellow Create TV host and Ireland’s TV chef, cookbook author Rachael Allen of Ballymaloe. Rachel and I exchanged our foodie stories and the like beginnings in our culinary careers. She shared with me her simplistic approach to food. I can't agree more. We agree that most are learning from this approach; getting back to the roots of growing and eating locally grown foods. The thing is, this in nothing new in Ireland, in fact they never lost their connection to sustainability. 

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Chefs Rachael Allen and George Hirsch, Adair Manor, Adair Co. Limerick, Ireland However, one topic of discussion is as serious as rugby or politics. I asked just about every person I meet in Ireland which brand of tea they preferred better, Lyons or Barry's. Barry's seemed to hold the lead during our filming. But then upon departure at Irish Customs I was told I was bringing home the wrong brand. They preferred Lyons. I can't be swayed, Barry's fan here.

So in keeping peace let’s drink Irish Coffee, a warming beverage on a chilly evening. Served first to arriving passengers in County Limerick, what is now Shannon International Airport. Ideal served with a slice of Chocolate Torta from George Hirsch Lifestyle. Sláinte! 

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Irish Coffee

Makes one serving

chefgeorgehirsch.com | from George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 ounce Jameson Irish Whiskey

1/2 ounce Baileys Irish Cream

1/2 cup hot strong coffee

Lemon wedge

Sugar to coat glass

Whipped cream

Prepare a sugar-rimmed glass by rubbing a piece of lemon or orange around the rim of a large wine glass. Dip 1/4 inch of the rim of the glass into a plate of sugar, coating the edge.

Place a teaspoon in glass. The spoon will diffuse the heat when hot coffee is poured into the glass. 

Add whiskey and Baileys. Pour coffee into glass over spoon. Remove spoon. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

That's Gaelic for Saint Patrick's Day or St. Paddy's. It's one of those days of the year where we all wear green, feel a wee bit Irish and spread good cheer. In honor of the irish holiday; Pionta Guinness, le do thoil. Sláinte! That's, a pint of Guinness please and cheers!

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Lamb Shanks an Potatoes

Makes four servings 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

4 whole lamb shanks
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup carrots, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup peas, frozen
1/4 cup celery, chopped
10 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
2 cups mashed potatoes

Preheat large saucepan.

Add olive oil and brown meat on all sides.  Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery and cook until light brown.  

Add vinegar and reduce for two minutes.  Add tomato sauce, broth, rosemary and thyme.  Cover and cook meat for two hours at a gentle simmer.  

The lamb shanks are fully cooked when the meat becomes flaky and shrinks away from the bone. Add peas to the lamb shanks and vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes longer.  

Serve the cooked Lamb Shanks with sauce and vegetables on top of hot, steamy smashed potatoes, go all out with my Mousseline Potatoes!


Corned Beef and Cabbage

Since March is unofficially 'Irish Awareness Month', I want to offer you the luck of the Irish by kicking off a St. Patrick's Day food tradition with Corn Beef and Cabbage...umm Irish-American that is, and not really part of the repast on the Emerald Aisle. 

Since the early 1900s, Americans proclaimed corned beef and cabbage to be their favorite Irish dish, even though it really never had graced dinner tables in Ireland. Since then, Americans have embraced it as the meal of choice for St. Patrick's Day, March 17th. Corned beef got its name before refrigeration, when meat was preserved using coarse grains of salt, called 'corn'. Today, beef is corned with spices strictly for flavor, not for preservation, so the meat must be refrigerated. Whether you're a wee bit Irish or not, boost your luck by celebrating St. Patrick's Day with friends and a feast. 

It is said that President Grover Cleveland once noticed the aroma of Corned Beef and Cabbage coming from the servants quarters at the White House. He asked to trade his dinner for that of the staff meal. He commented "that this was the best dinner I had had in months.."

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit, Gaelic for Saint Patrick's Day

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Corned Beef and Cabbage with Boiled Vegetables

Serves six-eight 

chefgeorgehirsch.comGeorge Hirsch Lifestyle

3 pound corned beef brisket 

4 cloves garlic, peeled 

Fresh ground black pepper 

2 Tablespoons pickling spices, 

3 bay leaves 

1/4cup sugar 

1/4cup cider vinegar 

1 large onion, peeled and quartered 

6 carrots, peeled 

6 Yukon potatoes, scrubbed 

3 turnips, peeled 

1 head cabbaged, leave core on and cut into eights 

Place corned beef brisket in a very large soup pot. Fill pot with cold water to cover meat. Add sugar, cider vinegar, pickling spices, bay leaves, and garlic. 

Bring to a boil over rather high heat. Boil for 5 to 6 minutes, skimming off the any scum that rises to the surface with a large spoon. 

Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and let simmer for 1-2 hours. Test the meat for tenderness with a large fork, it should have a little resistance, be careful not to overcook corned beef or the meat will become dry and stringy. If fully tender turn off the heat and let the meat rest in the liquid. 

One hour before serving and before the meat finishes, add all the vegetables in the pot with the meat. 

Timetable for the vegetables: 

• onions, simmer 1 hour 

• carrots, potatoes and turnips simmer 30 minutes 

• cabbage simmer 20-30 minutes 

Slice only as much meat as you will immediately serve, keeping the rest in one piece for future use. Serve with a variety of mustards and horseradish.

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