Johnny Cakes as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

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Johnny Cakes are a cornmeal unleavened flatbread and an early American staple. It is said to have its roots in New England first cooked by the Algonquian Native inhabitants. Think polenta like pancake. Aka Jonnycake, Johnny cake, Journey cake, Shawnee cake, or Johnny bread are ideal to serve for breakfast, brunch or supper in place of bread and biscuits. Dip, dunk or soak   up the juices from savory homemade Lamb Sausages, and warming chowders or soups .   

Johnny Cakes Sausage, George Hirsch Lifestyle

Johnny Cakes

Makes 6 large or 10-12 mini cakes 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle 

1 cup Fine stone ground yellow or white Cornmeal 

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 1/4 - 1 1/2 and up to 1 3/4 Milk, variable 

2 Tablespoons Butter or fat drippings to grease griddle

Good Quality Maple Syrup 

Pre heat griddle to 375 degrees or an iron skillet or sauté pan.

Mix all ingredients until lightly just until batter like. Allow to rest 5 minutes.

George Hirsch Johnny Cakes

Cook Johnny cake in a well greased griddle or pan with a little melted butter, bacon or sausage drippings. Allow to cakes brown and crisp; turn cakes over once after about 3-4 minutes. repeat. Top with melted butter and good maple syrup. Serve immediately 

Option Seasoning: A classic Johnny Cake is neutral in taste allowing whatever the cakes are served to be the predominate flavor. However, seasoning may be added to spice up according to personal tastes with a pinch of ginger, or allspice, or nutmeg, or pumpkin spice.

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Grilled Garlic Shrimp

Know Your Fire Fridays

Itch'n for grill'n? Time to light up the grill and cook up an easy dish. 

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George Hirsch Skewered Garlic Shrimp

Grilled Garlic Shrimp

Makes four servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

12 large Shrimp (size U15) peeled deveined, tail left on, skewer each shrimp through tail and front

2 Tablespoons Olive oil

1 Head

Caramelized garlic

Juice from one lemon

1 Tablespoon honey

3 springs Fresh Rosemary

hot sauce to taste

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Chef George's Grilled Garlic Shrimp Salad

Pre heat grill to a very high heat.

Mix all ingredients for shrimp marinade and pour over shrimp.

Cook shrimp on hot grill and place rosemary sprig on top of shrimp while grilling. Cook two minutes on each side, turning once. Baste the shrimp with any remaining marinade. Do not over cook.

Remove shrimp from grill and serve with grilled vegetables or salad.

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One Pan Meal

as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series 

as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series 

Looking for an easy one-pot meal? The frittata can be more than just breakfast, including brunch and lunch. Fill it with fresh veggies and good eggs like my recipe below and you'll have a powerful one-pan, moveable feast. A perfect take along for a picnic or al fresco meal. 

A frittata is also the perfect way to repurpose leftovers like roasted potatoes; add fresh herbs for added flavor like spring chives or thyme.

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Fresh Herb Frittata

Makes six servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 Tablespoon olive oil

10 eggs, well beaten

2 Tablespoons water, optional  

1/4 cup pancetta 

4-6 each baby Yukon potatoes 

1 shallot or 1 Tablespoon sweet onion 

1 green onion 

1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, sliced into small pieces  

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

fresh ground black pepper

Pre heat a large oven proof sauté pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Beat eggs with water, basil, parmesan cheese, hot sauce, nutmeg, and pepper. 

Add olive oil to sauté pan, cook pancetta until slightly tender. Add shallot and potatoes cook until potatoes are tender. 

Add pepper and hot sauce to eggs. Pour eggs over the filling and place the pan over medium heat. Stir egg mixture 2-3 times or just enough to mix eggs and potatoes. When the eggs begin to set, lower the heat and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, top with fresh mozzarella and green onion. 

Cover or place pan in oven for additional 1-2 minutes or until firm yet moist. 

Top with fresh basil. Serve warm or room temperature.

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Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Join me on GHL Mondays + Fridays Tune-in Create TV 8AM + 2PM

Simple solutions can give you best results. Machines and gadgets are very important to many people, but honestly I really enjoy cooking when just a simple whisk, spoon or spatula just does the job. As is the case with the Chocolate Torta recipe from my TV series George Hirsch Lifestyle episode titled Old World Traditions. Enjoy.

Mix by hand and bake. Forty-five minutes later you’ll be savoring this Italian Pastry delight! 

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George's Chocolate Torta

Makes 12 servings 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1-1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup water

1/3 cup sweet butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

1 egg white, beaten into whole egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan; set aside.

In small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, combine cocoa and granulated sugar until blended. With wire whisk, beat in water, then melted butter, egg, egg white and vanilla until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. On wire rack, cool for ten minutes in pan. With small spatula, loosen cake from sides of pan. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Place on plate and sprinkle with confectioners sugar and a dollop of fresh whip cream. To serve, cut into small wedges. 

Tip: This cake actually tastes get better when baked and aged one day in advance. When making ahead, allow to cool completly, then cover tightly in an air proof container or place baked chocolate torta back into cake pan and wrap the top with film. 

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Chocolate Torta, from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV Series

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Tastes Like Steak

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Today we are grilling-up a vegetable that's flavor resembles a meaty protein. They're so meaty in flavor, eating one is almost like cutting into a piece of steak. Portobello mushrooms make great appetizers, but also have earned it's position on the main course plate.

Portobello mushrooms, a larger relative of the crimini and are the largest of all the cultivated mushrooms with tan or brown caps often reaching 6 to 7 inches across. For thousands of years, Eastern cultures have revered mushrooms’ health benefits. Mushrooms have long been celebrated as a source of powerful nutrients, and can also help us meet the dietary and vitamin D recommendation and also benefit from this leading source of the antioxidant selenium which helps maintain a healthy immune system. (mushroomcouncil.org)

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Gorgonzola Mushrooms

 Makes 4 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestytle

As a variation, add one of the following to the stuffing: 1/4 cup grilled and diced ham; meat from 2 grilled spicy Italian sausages; or 1/2 cup chopped grilled shrimp.

8 large mushrooms, 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter

2 Tablespoons olive oil'1/2 cup chopped grilled onion

3 scallions, grilled and chopped

Puree from 4 cloves Caramelized Garlic

2 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs, or cooked rice, or other grain

1/4 cup milk

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Grill Temperature | high, then medium

Preheat the grill.

Remove the mushroom stems with a knife and set aside. Brush the caps with oil, grill over high for 1 minutes on each side, and remove. Chop the stems and combine with the onion, scallions and garlic in a medium bowl. Add 2 cups of the bread crumbs, milk, cilantro and hot sauce and mix well. Add the cheese and stir until the mixture is smooth. Fill the mushroom caps evenly with the mixture and roll them in the remaining bread crumbs. Brush lightly with the remaining olive oil and grill over medium heat until tender.