Gazpacho as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

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This time of year is perfect to dream about those farm fresh veggies. But don’t just dream, enjoy one of my favorite refreshing soups anytime!  

 on location Seps Farm East Marion, NY from  George Hirsch Lifestyle

on location Seps Farm East Marion, NY from George Hirsch Lifestyle

I also call Gazpacho "liquid salad" — for obvious reasons. Its origin and roots go back to ancient times in Andalusia Spain; with a version of the recipe believed to be concocted as a re-energizing dish for Roman workers building roads in early 2nd century Spain. Traditionally, gazpacho recipes include stale bread, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, and a touch of vinegar. 

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Gazpacho aka Liquid Salad

Makes four servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV  

1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped very fine

4 cups low sodium tomato juice + Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup each sweet red + yellow pepper, chopped very fine

1/4 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped fine

4 cloves garlic, fine chop

1/4 cup scallion, fine chop

1/2 cup cucumber; peeled and seeded, chopped very fine

1 Tablespoon cilantro + 1/4 each teaspoon hot sauce, cumin, sea salt + fresh ground black pepper 

1/2 cup stale bread, toasted and chopped fine

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar 

Optional: 1 fresh gherkin cut into four wedges and a spring on dill to garnish. Or, marinate very fresh scallops or shrimp in tequila & hot sauce--top mugs ceviche style. 

*In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and chill for two hours before serving. 

My recipe will give your knife skills a work out. Feel free to use a blender. Keep in mind the manual chopping of the vegetables will preserve the flavor. 

*Tip: Be aware, using a food processor or blender actually cooks the veggies with the friction, in turn, changing the natural uncooked flavor, which is the true essence of this dish. There are many versions of gazpacho, but I prefer this one without any meat broth, keeping it true to its veggie roots, and finishing it off with a drizzle of a good olive oil.  

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Late Summer Cobbler

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A peach berry cobbler is one of my favorite desserts using a combination of summer fruits. This cobbler is a must during late summer when the fruit is at the perfect level of natural ripeness. The natural sugars from the soft fruit provide excellant sweetness. And, making the cobbler in a cast iron skillet makes it easy to serve during a Labor Day BBQ for the last hurrah! Wait, summer isn't over..Let's just call this a Late Summer Cobbler. 

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ingredients for George's Warm Peach Berry Cobbler

George’s Warm Peach Berry Cobbler

Makes 4 –6 servings

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George's Warm Peach Berry Cobbler

For Topping:

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup flour

3/4 quick oats

1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup melted butter 

Mix all sugars, flour, oats and nuts. Pour in butter and mix until topping looks like wet sand. Do not over mix; topping should have a lumpy consistency.

For the Filling:

4 cups Fresh Peaches- sliced and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces. 

2 pints Fresh Blueberries, or mixed berries

1 loaf pound cake, sliced thin 

1/3 cup water or *simple syrup

Pre heat a 375 degree oven.

Grease small individual ramekins, or one nine inch ovenproof casserole, or an iron skillet. line bottom of pan with sliced pound cake. Add peaches, blueberries and simple syrup. Top with a generous amount of crumb topping.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until crumb topping is crisp and light brown. 

Serve warm topped with powder sugar, whip cream or powder sugar.

*To make simple syrup:

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

1 orange, cut into quarters

Place all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Remove and cool.

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Summer Lobster Boil

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Boils are also known as a Steam, Bake, Fish Fry, Potluck, Planks or Seafood Barbecue. Here are a few kinds of boils I’ve either been privileged to have attended in my travels or have had the pleasure of creating myself.

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George Hirsch's Lobster Boil

  • New England - lobster steamed with beer, corn, sausage and new potatoes
  • Montauk - mussels, clams, lobster, striped bass, duck quarters, LI Yukons, corn
  • Maryland or Chesapeake - blue crab, oysters and clams with steamed with beer, vinegar, and Old Bay cooked in a steamer basket served with crackers corn and slaw
  • Cajun & Creole Boil - shrimp, crab, crawfish, andouille sausage or kielbasa, small red new potatoes
  • Low Country or Frogmore Stew - usually just shrimp with smoked sausage & corn
  • Texan - crawfish, oysters and good old Texan smoked brisket
  • Monterey - Dungeness crabs, shrimp and artichokes when in season
  •  Seattle - planked salmon & oysters 

Types of seafood commonly used for a boil is typically shellfish with shrimp being the most popular ingredient. Local availability, taste preferences and imagination can rule your boil. You may consider: Dungeness & blue claw crabs, shrimp, oysters, calamari, hard shell & razor clams, mussels, crawfish, Pacific salmon or striped bass for your boil. Equipment: large outdoor gas grill, cooker, or large pit with charcoal, a large pot (size depends on amount of seafood and the number of guests). 20 gallon stock pot,  large paddle to stir, large wire strainer or skimmer to scoop, tongs, mallets, crackers, picks, picnic tables, No utensils––eat with your hands. 

Summer Boil

Flavoring ingredients: onions, split heads of garlic, salt, lemons, beer, bay leaves, crab boil seasoning, cayenne pepper, hot sauce 

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George Hirsch's Lobster Boil

Serve: Remove seafood from pot, drain well and dump on picnic tables covered with newspaper, brown paper or butcher paper with bowls of lemon wedges, melted butter, bottles of hot sauce, and good quality breads. Beverages: Iced tubs of tall necks or keg beer (keep it local to your boil theme), tall necks of root beer, chilled rosé, iced tea, or lemonade. 

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George Hirsch's Lobster Boil

Preparing George’s East Coast Seafood Boil Recipe

My boil is a combination of the New England, Maryland & Montauk and is easily prepared on the side burner of a gas grill. Change seafood according to your own taste and availability. Add snow peas for additional color and crunch.

Non-seafood additions to boil with cook times:

  • 1 link per person smoked or Italian sausage, grilled & add to boil at end
  • 3 small red new potatoes per person, 15 minutes
  • 1 ear of corn per person, 10 minutes
  • 1/4 cup snow peas, 2-3 minutes
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter per person, for dipping
  • Serve hot sauce on the side 

To prepare Seafood Boil:

Add 2 cups water, 2 bottles of beer, 1 head fresh chopped garlic, 4 bay leaves, several sprigs fresh parsley, 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns, 1 Tablespoon powdered garlic, 1 Tablespoon thyme, and 1/4 cup paprika. If you like it spicy add dried hot pepper flakes, or chopped jalapeño. Bring liquid to boil.

Add seafood in stages for different cooking times:

  • Lobster 7 minutes for a 1 pound lobster + 1 minute for each additional 4 ounces
  • Blue Claw Crabs 5-7 minutes
  • Steamers or Littlenecks- 5-7 minutes or until opened
  • Shrimp (shell on) 4-5 minutes
  • Mussels 3-4 minutes or until opened

Separately, to boil lobsters:

  • Fill a large pot three-quarters full of cold water and cover.
  • A good rule of thumb is to allow 2 1/2 quarts of water for each lobster. Two or more lobsters will cook in the same time providing the pot is large enough. When in doubt use two pots.
  • Bring the water to a rapid boil.
  • Lobsters should be alive with the safety bands left on the claws. Drop the live lobsters one at a time head first, let the water boil again and cover the pot. Now you will begin to time the cooking.
  • Allow 7 minutes for a one-pound lobster and add one minute for each 4 ounces. A 1 1/2 pound lobster will cook in 9 minutes.
  • Lobsters will turn a bright red when cooked. Remove lobsters from pot with a pair of tongs.
  • Allow at least 2- 1 pound lobsters per person since a 1 pound lobster offers only 4 ounces of meat.
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George Hirsch's Lobster Boil

To Grill Lobsters:

  • Lobsters, split and cleaned
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons seafood seasoning
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 pound clarified or drawn butter
  • 3 lemons, cut into wedges

Preheat grill to medium high

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil seafood seasoning and garlic. Place the lobster on its back and brush with some of the oil mixture.  Place the lobster on the grill, split side down, for 3 minutes. Brush with olive oil, turn, and cook until done, 5 to 6 minutes longer. A 1 1/2-pound lobster should cook in 9 minutes: 7 minutes for the first pound and 1 minute for each additional 4 ounces.

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Summer Time Whoopie

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The whoopie pie aka black moon, gob, black-and-white, bob, or the round Devil Dog borders on a cookie, cake and pie. My recipe for a Summer Time Whoopie Pie with grilled pineapple Piña Colada version is worth all the steps. How can you go wrong with chocolate pastry sandwiching a grilled rum infused pineapple in coconut cream? 

Summer Time Piña Colada Whoopie Pies

Make 15 small Dessert Burgers

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For Grilled Pineapple

1 ripe Pineapple

2 Tablespoons Brown sugar

¼ cup Dark Rum, such as Myers

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 Tablespoon mint, chopped

Cut off top, bottom, peel outside skin of a ripe pineapple. Cut horizontally into 1/2-inch slices, remove center core. Pour marinade over top of pineapple for 3-4 hours prior to grilling.

Remove pineapple from marinade. Grill at medium-high temperature for 2 to 3 minutes basting on each side with marinade. Remove and cool.

Chocolate Pies/Cookies

Makes 30 small cookies to make 15 whoopee pies

3½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1¼ teaspoons baking powder

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

¾ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Valrhona)

½ cup good strong warm coffee

2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

¾ cup canola oil

1 large egg, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup buttermilk, *or ½ cup milk with 1/4 teaspoon vinegar

2 Tablespoons Shredded coconut, lightly toasted

*Add white vinegar to milk to make the buttermilk. Allow to sit 5 minutes to sour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside. 

In another large bowl, mix the cocoa powder and brown sugar. Add warm coffee and whisk until completely dissolved. Add oil, egg, vanilla, and buttermilk and whisk until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as you fold.

Use a small ice cream scoop to drop a heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. 

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes  until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and can be lifted off the; use caution not to over bake. Let the cookies cool completely before removing from the pan.

Piña Colada Filling:

5 large egg whites

1½ cups sugar

2 cups (4 sticks) sweet butter, room temperature cut into ½-inch cubes

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pure coconut extract 

Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in a medium bowl. Set the bowl over a double boiler with simmering water but do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and the color is milky-white, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment and start slowly at first, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with the paddle attachment. Add salt and coconut flavoring; then the cubed butter. Starting slowly at first, beat on medium-high speed until filling is light and creamy, about 5 minutes. 

Chef George Hirsch Grilled Piña Colada Whoopie Pies

To assemble Summer Piña Colada Whoopie Pies:

Turn half the cooled cookies upside down (flat side facing up). With a pastry bag or spoon, drop a teaspoon of Piña Colada icing onto the flat side of the cookie. Top with grilled pineapple, a teaspoon of Piña Colada icing on top, and sprinkle a small amount of coconut on top. 

Place the cookie with the flat side down, on top of the filled bottom. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the pies. Repeat until all the pies are used. Put the assembled pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up icing before serving.

Allow the Piña Colada Whoopie Pies to adjust to room temperature before serving.

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Summer is ripe for Lobster Roll

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Is a lobster roll the new hamburger? 

George Hirsch Lifestyle Lobster Roll

There are many seaside locations up and down the coast that serve very good lobster rolls. And, I have enjoyed many. But clearly the best meat-for-meat is still the Clam Bar located here in the Hamptons, on the Napeaque stretch between Amagansett and Montauk. The late owner Dick Ehrlich set the bar very high serving-up their chock-filled fresh lobster rolls, chowders and locally grilled fish caught within minutes of Montauk. You can tune-in to CreateTV this summer to watch; or view at your leisure on DVD. Order GHL DVD and watch the segment filmed at the Clam Bar plus all 13 episodes of George Hirsch Lifestyle.

George Hirsch Lifestyle on location The Clam Bar

The Clam Bar's recipe is a trade secret, but making a great lobster roll is about keeping it simple. Buy lobsters from a reputable fish monger. How the lobsters are caught, handled and stored is the key to the flavor of the meat. And, never use lobster meat that is spongy, a sign the lobster was falling off or died before cooking. 

Chef George Hirsch's Lobster Roll

George’s Lobster Roll

Makes six sandwiches 

* 1 1/2 - 2 pounds knuckle & claw lobster meat, , cooked (How-to cook Lobsters)

6 top-split long soft rolls 

3 Tablespoons celery, chopped fine 

1 Tablespoon chives, chopped 

1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped 

Juice of 1 lemon  

1 teaspoon hot sauce

3 Tablespoons butter, melted 

Optional: 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Or, 2 additional Tablespoons of melted butter added in place of mayo. 

Cut lobster meat into 1 inch pieces. In a large bowl toss lobster meat, mayonnaise, celery, chives, parsley, lemon, and hot sauce. 

Brush rolls on the outside with butter and lightly toast on a griddle or in a large sauté pan.
Divide lobster filling up into the 6 rolls and serve immediately. 

TIP: Steaming lobsters preserves the flavor of the meat. Buy lobsters steamed from your local fish market.

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