Beacon of Light

Our Nations Beacon of Light, honoring those who serve and have served.

A National Historic Landmark, the Montauk Point Lighthouse is located on the eastern most point on Long Island, New York. It is the oldest lighthouse in New York State. The Second Congress, under President George Washington, authorized the Lighthouse in 1792. Construction began on June 7, 1796 and was completed on November 5, 1796.

About this beacon and military significance. Civilian keepers maintained the lighthouse until World War ll, when the U.S. Army took it over as part of the Eastern Coastal Defense Shield. Adjacent to the lighthouse, Camp Hero was opened by the Army in 1942 and was heavily fortified with huge guns during the war. Those gun emplacements and concrete observation bunkers are still visible as a reminder of our freedom due to the bravery of those who serve.

Never taking for granted the freedom and beauty of American shores, I have been drawn since a child to the Montauk Lighthouse towering structure. Years ago my culinary students won one of many gold medals in culinary competition from the Société Culinaire Philanthropique for an all Long Island theme submission in food and pastry based on local food and geography. Our table stood apart from the competition as the Lighthouse was replicated in pastillage sugar work.

Montauk, A symbol of great fishing, it's beaches and surfing, the Lighthouse has been featured in the open of George Hirsch Lifestyle and several episodes of the TV series as a strong image of Long Island and our place in history. The Montauk Lightouse has been part of Long Island's land and seascape for over 200 years and still serves as an active aid to navigation and a beacon of light to all those who have served. 

Surf Casting off Montauk Point

Surf Casting off Montauk Point

More Facts:

- Fourth oldest active lighthouse in the United States

- Foundation is 13'deep and 9' thick

- Constructed of sandstone blocks from Connecticut, 8" high and varying in length from 18" high to 44"

- The walls are 6' thick at the base tapering to 3' thick at the top

- The height of the tower is 110' 6"

- There are 137 iron steps to the top of the tower

- The light flashes every 5 seconds and can be seen a distance of 19 nautical miles

For more information and to visit the National Historic Landmark, the Montauk Point Lighthouse 

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Holiday Breakfast: Popovers & Scrambled Eggs

Wishing you all a very happy + safe holiday! 

It is said the American style popover originated in Portland Oregon derived from the Yorkshire Pudding origins of Yorkshire county in Northern England. Whether true or not the principle of a good Yorkshire Pudding or Popover derives from using a crepe-like batter dough. To make a popover, change the beef fat drippings (from the roast) to butter- for a more updated flavorful batter. Whatever style you prefer to make, just remember don’t open the oven door and peek in the oven- if you want a tall pop-over from this crepe-like muffin. 

Yorkshire Pudding or Popovers are usually served with roasted meats. A dear friend recently shared with me that he serves popovers with scrambled eggs for breakfast or brunch. Great idea!

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Popovers & Yorkshire Pudding  

Makes 12 popovers

Adapted From Adventures in Grilling Cookbook

by George Hirsch with Marie Bianco

5 Tablespoons butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten 

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1 cup all-purpose flour

pinch of fresh grated nutmeg and black pepper

Optional: 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme, rosemary or chives

Grease and flour a 12 cup muffin or popover pan. Add a teaspoon of melted butter to each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan.

Mix flour, eggs, milk, 1 Tablespoon melted butter, sugar and salt. Beat in the flour a little bit at a time and add herbs if using; mixture should be smooth. Do not over mix the batter or the gluten will overdevelop and the popovers will be tough. Let batter rest for fifteen minutes. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place empty/ unfilled muffin pan in hot oven to preheat pan for two minutes or until smoking hot. 

Carefully remove hot muffin pan from oven and fill each cup halfway. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue baking for 15-20 minutes more, or until popovers are puffed and browned.  

Remove Popovers from pan immediately and serve hot.

Tips:

If serving scrambled eggs with popovers, begin to cook eggs 5 minutes before removing popovers from oven.

Do not open oven to check popovers until they have baked for at least 30 minutes. 

To test for doneness, tap the outside of Popover; it should sound hollow. 

Popovers

 

 

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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