Divided BY Chowder

Celebrating Chef George's 25th Anniversary on PBS

If there is one thing I have learned as a chef there as many versions of chowder recipes as there are people who enjoy this soup, err..I mean stew..no I think soup?  

George Hirsch Chowder

Each of my cookbooks and TV series has a version of some sort of a chowder recipe. I have judged chowder contests, participated in chef chowder tastings, and been a referee at a few chowder-boxing matches. Well, not really, but people do get heated up over red or white chowder. 

What really is chowder? The word "chowder" comes from the French word chaudiere, or caldron, the vessel in which the dish was cooked. And, derives from the word "jowter," meaning fishmonger, a term that was used in 16th century coastal regions of England.

George Hirsch Seafood

Is it a soup or stew? Early versions of chowder simmered from the New England area and was basically a frugal recipe of pork fat, onions, potatoes, fish, herbs, dry biscuits or flour for thickening, layered in a pot and cooked in water, with a little milk added at the end. In the 1800’s the Manhattan clam chowder was notable because it contains tomatoes. James Beard described Manhattan clam chowder "that rather horrendous soup called Manhattan clam chowder resembles a vegetable soup that accidentally had some clams dumped into it." All respect Mr. Beard, but those are fighting words. As a New Yorker and from coastal Long Island, an East Ender we take our chowder VERY serious. See, how a discussion on chowder can turn into a sparring match.

Tomato-based clam chowders came about with the newfound popularity of the tomato in the mid-1800s with the large population of Italians and Portuguese in New York and Rhode Island region. Still, there is no chowder harmony. In 1939, Maine legislators introduced a bill outlawing the use of tomatoes in chowder because it is far more of a vegetable soup. What? 

I can end this entire soup divide right now. Aside from any vegetables, corn, chicken or other non-seafarer ingredient for the stew--here are three versions you can enjoy from my TV series and cookbooks. They have satisfied many and with hope can prevent a nation from future chowder conflict. 

Manhattan vs. New England Chowder N.E. not my fav..

Seafood Chowder Yes, now this is a stew!

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White Bean Casserole as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

Join me CreateTV George Hirsch Lifestyle Sat March 9th 6AM/6PM + Sun March 10 12PM

This easy to prepare hearty soup makes for a wonderful mid-week dinner or rustic weekend starter. I have even prepared gallons of this warming soup for tailgates. For a creamier soup, puree half.   

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White Bean Casserole

Makes 6 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.comGeorge Hirsch Lifestyle 

2 Tablespoons olive oil  

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped carrot

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped

1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes 

1 cup potatoes, peeled and chopped 

3 cups chicken broth 

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed 

3 links Italian or smoked sausage, pre-grilled and sliced  

2 cups Kale, washed, dried and chopped 

Fresh ground black pepper to taste 

Pre heat a large soup or sauce pot to a medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, hot pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are tender, do not brown. Add the potato, sausage, broth, beans and basil. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer, cover and cook about 30 minutes. 

Bring soup back to a boil, turn down to a simmer and add the kale. Cook until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add pepper to taste. 

For a creamier soup, pulse half of the soup or puree in a food processor. Bring soup back up to a boil until well blended. 

Optional Substitution for Kale: Spinach, Escarole, Swiss Chard, Broccoli Rabe

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George's Gameday Posole

A traditional Mexican dish from the pacific coast region of Jalisco; Posole is a thick soup made with hominy–dried corn with the hull and germ removed. Makes any large gathering a fiesta!

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George's Gameday Posole

Makes 8 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

2 pounds pork shoulder chops

1/2 cup Posole Pork Rub

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 sweet onion, sliced thick, grilled and chopped

4 jalapenos, roasted on grill; split seeded and chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups hot chicken broth

4 cups canned hominy, drained and rinsed

1 Tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh cilentro

3 fresh red radishes, sliced thin

1 cup fresh cabbage, finely shredded

Rub pork on all sides with Posole Pork Rub, and refrigerate for at least two 2 hours or overnight.

Pre heat large soup pot  to high heat.

Brush chops with 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Add chops and sear pork on both sides until browned and not fully cooked. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil, chopped onion, garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the hot broth, jalapenos, hominy and simmer for 1 hour. Remove chops, cool and chop meat into small pieces. Put pork back into soup. Continue cooking for 30 additional minutes. The longer and slower the soup simmers the better.

Stir in cilantro and serve bowls of soup topped with sliced radish, shredded cabbage, and with warm corn tortillas.

Posole Pork Rub

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 Tablespoon each: ground cumin, black pepper, garlic powder, sweet paprika, chili powder, thyme

1/2 teaspoon each: nutmeg, allspice

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Store in a tightly sealed container.

13 EPISODES on 4 HD-DVD Disk Set
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WHITE TURKEY CHILI

 Tune-in + Join me Create TV GHL Sat 11/25 9AM 9PM + Sun 11/25 3PM

What to do with all that turkey? You gave goodie bags away, but there seems to be so much left, still. Well, here are a couple great ideas beyond the old turkey-n-gravy sandwich, which isn't that bad either. My number one requested one-pot meal recipe is my White Turkey Chili. It's so easy to prepare; just give all the ingredients time to simmer; a spicy and a warm way to serve turkey. 

Chef George’s White Turkey Chili

WHITE TURKEY CHILI

Makes six servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | from George Hirsch Living it UP! Cookbook 

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2cupsonion, chopped

1/4cup celery,  chopped 

1/2cupyellow bell pepper, chopped

1  Tablespoon jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped

4cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon thyme

fresh ground black pepper

3cups cooked turkey or chicken, skin removed and chopped 

3cups cannellini beans, drained and mash 1 cup

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn

4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

optional: 1cup half & half or low fat milk

Pre heat a large casserole pot to medium.

Add olive oil, onion, celery, yellow pepper, jalapeño, and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Add cumin, chili powder and black pepper. Add turkey, 2 cups of beans, broth, corn and bring to a boil. 

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Add 1 cup mashed beans and half & half to the turkey mixture. Simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring frequently. Stir in chopped cilantro.

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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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