Craft Brewed Onion Soup

The Addition of a good craft beer to this classic recipe adds another dimension of flavor which compliments the caramelized onion. An IPA or dark beer is better but you can use your favorite brew.

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Beer Onion Soup

Makes 4 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

6 cups Vidalia or sweet onions, sliced  

1 Tablespoon olive oil  

1 head caramelized garlic  

2 pints craft brewed IPA beer  

6 cups beef or vegetable broth  

1 teaspoon fresh thyme  

1 teaspoon fresh parsley  

pinch nutmeg  

4 large sour dough bread croutons  

4 slices of Gruyere cheese  

1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese 

Preheat a soup pot. 

Add olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook onions until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add beer and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add broth, thyme, parsley and nutmeg. Simmer for 45 minutes. 

Place sourdough croutons in 4 bowls. Add soup to each bowl. Top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a slice of Gruyere. Broil for 2 minutes or until cheese melts and is slightly browned. 

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The Rooster's Beak

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

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You must want to know why Pico de Gallo is referred to as the rooster's beak? It actually refers to the bite-size (beak-size) proportions of fresh tomatoes in this chunky salsa of Mexican origin. How about that! You may also be familiar with its other name, Salsa Fresca. 

The garden tomato bounty is here for a few more minutes, so this is an ideal week to make my pico de gallo from my own tomatoes and peppers. Serve Pico de Gallo with corn tortillas or my Cilantro Shrimp Nachos for más divertido!

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George Hirsch's Salsa Fresca

Makes 3 cups

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8-10 San Marzano plum tomatoes, split de-seeded 

1 small sweet white onion, or sweet red onion + 1 green onion 

2 jalapeño peppers, split and de-seeded chopped (optional) 

1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber 

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce 

2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper, to taste 

Juice of two fresh limes

1 Tablespoon olive oil 

Cut all veggies into 1/4 inch size pieces. In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix and set aside one hour to allow flavors to develop. Serve room temperature.

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The Midweek Salad

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Grilled Romaine

Did you know lettuce made the top ten garden vegetables in America? It ranked number nine; trailing behind hot peppers, onions, zucchini, carrots, beans, sweet peppers, cucumber and tomatoes. The good news is lettuce beat out beans!

I received an email request that inspired this post. This was one of those recipes I did for my live PBS grilling shows that made people scratch their head years ago. The audience in the Disney Parks was at first shocked, then amazed! Now, its considered all the buzz, appearing on other cooking shows including chain restaurants. I guess they Know their Fire! Ha! Well, here's the how-to on grilling-up a delicious appetizer or side. I'll be making it this week. Enjoy! Top with this dressing.

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Grilled Romaine

Makes four servings 

chefgeorgehirsch.comAdventures in Grilling, 1996 by George Hirsch w/ Marie Bianco

2 Heads of hearts of romaine lettuce, split in half & washed

4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 cloves caramelized garlic

A pinch of sea salt 

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, rough chopped

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Shaved Parmesan cheese

Pre heat grill to high heat.

Cut the romaine heart in half lengthwise, leaving stem end intact. Soak romaine heads in bowl of cold water. Brush with olive oil.

Put romaine halves on hot grill. Cook for about 2 minutes each side, until lettuce begins to blister slightly and lettuce gets a slight char. Turn over and grill for 2 additional minutes.  

Remove and plate cut side up, and top each with remaining olive oil, balsamic, garlic cloves, Parmesan, prosciutto, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve while still warm.

Optional: serve with thinly sliced prosciutto, grilled chicken, or grilled shrimp. 

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Vine Ripen Pizza

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When it comes to making any type of pizza let imagination and the season rule your toppings. I love this caprese style pizza in the summer with the abundance of vine ripe tomatoes. And if you are up to expanding your hand tossed style take the dough to the grill for an added fire roasted flavor.

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Caprese Flatbread Pizza  

Makes four servings | chefgeorgehirsch.com

From George Hirsch Lifestyle TV Series

Mix Dough and place in a bowl lightly oiled with olive oil. cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator overnight. 

Next day, pre heat *oven to 475 degrees F. 

Stretch out dough to a rectangular shape and cut into two pieces. Sprinkle a teaspoon of fine grind corn meal on the surface of a heavy gauge pizza pan or sheet pan. Place the two pieces of dough on the top of corn meal. Brush top lightly with olive oil. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until pizza flatbread crusts are fully baked. You can check for doneness by tapping on the edge of the dough with your finger. It should should hollow. 

Remove from oven, place two pizza flatbreads on a rack, allow to cool.

When cool top with sliced vine oak leaf lettuce, ripen tomatoes, fresh basil, pesto, sprinkle small amount of sea salt, fresh ground pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

*NOTE: If grilling, pre-heat grill to high heat. After stretching and right before placing dough on grill surface, brush heavy with olive oil.

 pizza dough on set  George Hirsch Lifestyle  TV series

pizza dough on set George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series

George's Pizza Dough

Makes enough for 2-3 pizzas

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1 teaspoon active dry yeast 

1/4 cup warm water (between 105 and 115 degrees F) 

1 teaspoon sugar 

3 1/2 cups bread flour 

1/4teaspoon salt 

3/4 cup warm water 

1 Tablespoon olive oil 

In a small bowl, combine the yeast and water. Add the sugar and stir well. Set aside for 10 minutes, or until small bubbles appear on the surface. 

Place 3 cups of the flour in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and the water. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, using the additional 1/2 cup flour if the dough is sticky. 

The dough is sufficiently kneaded when you can stick two fingers into it and it springs back without leaving an indentation. 

Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Let the dough rest in an oiled bowl for 45-60 minutes. Lightly oil the top of each ball with the 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours. 

- Mixing with a mixer & dough hook: Mix for eight minutes at medium speed

- Mixing with a food processor: process for 40 seconds until smooth, add 1 additional Tablespoon of flour at a time until all of the flour is combined into the dough.

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George Hirsch Caprese Flatbread Pizza

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