For Mama

Celebrating National Herb Week can be carried on through Sunday for Mother's Day!

Receiving potted herb plants is a perfect present for the mother or mother-in-law, who loves to cook. This is one of those gifts that keeps giving too. Besides inspiring new spring recipes from Mom's kitchen, it's also a convenient way for her to enjoy and have easy access to the fresh earthly scents of rosemary, basil, oregano or thyme on her countertop or window sill. And this gift may give back to you in a few weeks when that first batch of pesto is plated up.

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TIP:

 It is a good idea to purchase glazed pots, so the herb plants won’t dry out so quickly. Unfinished terracotta pots soak up the moisture from the soil like a sponge. This added step will prevent frequent watering. And planting potted herbs today, will offer you tasty additions to your dishes in a couple weeks!

George Hirsch Herbs with 5 dishes

Enjoy a flavorful Green Goddess Dressing prepared with fresh herbs.

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BBQ, Grilling + Bourbon Sauce

Join me & Tune-in 8:30AM EST GHL CreateTV Marathon Sat. May 6th

With the Derby Day this weekend, plus Mother's Day, top off your favorite grilled meats this weekend with my Bourbon Sauce.  I dedicate this recipe to my friends in Kentucky; the inspiration for this recipe. I've used this as a great finishing sauce for most proteins; including beef, pork and chicken. Tip: use only the best bourbon!

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Be very careful saying BBQ when you should be saying grilling - especially in BBQ country.

BBQ: It's a science of cooking protein by indirect heat, with dedication. I emphasize the word dedication because there is NO speedy way to BBQ. Two words, low and slow. I spent many years teaching the art of heat and fire, and in this case Q. There really is so much to learn and each Q occasion is always an unique experience with many factors; like air temperature, humidity, moisture, wind, etc. One of the best ways to Know Your Fire is to experience it first hand. It's one of those things you intrinsically feel and only come to understand when you are in the fire pit - so to speak. I tip my hat to all pitmasters. 

Grilling: This is the way most people will cook with their backyard grill; grilling proteins such as burgers, steak, chicken, seafood, as well as veggies. This is the use of direct heat cooking at a higher temperature for shorter cooking times over the fire. Again, practice makes perfect, so there's no time like the present to learn or expand your current grilling skills. 

Bourbon Sauce

Makes 5 cups

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1 cup Dijon Mustard

1 cup steak sauce

1 cup bourbon 

1 cup honey and 1 cup ketchup

1 Tablespoon orange zests

Juice of one lemon and one orange

In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients; simmer gently for 4-5 minutes. Serve with ribs, steak, or grilled meats.

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Cinco de Mayo with George's Posole

Join me & Tune-in 8:30AM EST GHL CreateTV Marathon Sat. May 6th

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 Posole

Makes 8 servings

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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 potto 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.

Grilled Spring Spear

Join me & watch GHL on CreateTV Marathon Saturday May 6th

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Asparagus is the most revered spring vegetable. The word asparagus comes from the ancient Persian word asparag, meaning a sprout. The ancient Egyptians cultivated asparagus and offered it to numerous gods and the Romans had an expression, “Velocius quam asparagi coquantur”, meaning faster than you can cook asparagus. It was a rare and expensive vegetable in the 1890s in the United States, but then cultivation helped to tame the price. It was inevitable that the asparagus should be treated as an aphrodisiac given its shape, which, an Elizabethan writer remarked, it ‘manifestly provoked Venus.”  

Tips:

Although grown in quite a large scale and in many countries, asparagus is available in abundance from March to late June. There are over 300 varieties of asparagus, only 20 of which are edible. 

They are divided into three main categories: 

Green asparagus. This is the most common type of asparagus. It is harvested at a height of about 8 inches. 

White asparagus. Grown in the dark (covered with soil to keep it from turning green), white asparagus is harvested as soon as it emerges from the ground. Although more tender than the green variety, it tends to be less flavorful, and is more expensive, since more work is required to grow it. 

Purple asparagus: This variety has a fruity flavor and is harvested when only 2 to 3 inches high. 

How to buy asparagus: 

Whether asparagus are thin or thick, choose them with firm, crisp stalks and compact brightly colored heads with no trace of rust or softness. The bottom of the stalk should be moist when squeezed, not dry and woody. Avoid yellowish asparagus with soft stalks that are beginning to flower, these are signs that it is old.

Store asparagus vertically in 1 inches of water in a container, stem-side-down in the refrigerator.

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Serve this easy make-ahead dish as a starter or a side.  The asparagus is enhanced by the marinade and grilling.

Grilled Asparagus

Makes four servings

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George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 pound fresh asparagus

1/4 cup olive oil

juice and zest of 1 lemon

4 cloves

Caramelized Garlic

, chopped

1 Tablespoon  of fresh oregano, chopped

2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup calamata olives, pitted and split

Fresh ground black pepper

Cut the stem ends off the asparagus and discard; peel the asparagus up to the beginning of the tip ends with a vegetable peeler. 

Combine a 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano in a shallow rectangular dish. Marinate the asparagus in this mixture for 1 hour. 

Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium temperature.

Remove the asparagus from the marinade and grill for about 5 minutes, basting with the marinade. Turn the asparagus as needed so they do not burn. 

Remove the asparagus from the grill, top with lemon zest, parmesan cheese and olives. Top with remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Serve at room temperature.

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World's Greatest Cupcakes

Join me & watch GHL on CreateTV Marathon Saturday May 6th

Switching to a kid (+ Adult) favorite sweet for Muffin Monday!

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Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes about 2 dozen 

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1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter on medium speed until smooth. Scrape bowl, add the sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 

Add the eggs in three stages one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three stages, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over mix. Scrape down the bowl after each addition to make sure the ingredients are well blended. 

Fill cupcake liners approximately three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in the muffin pans for 5 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing. 

Ice the cupcakes with either Vanilla Icing or Chocolate Icing

Vanilla Icing

Makes icing for 2 dozen cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla 

Place room temperature and softened butter in a large mixing bowl. 

Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. 

Beat on medium speed beat until smooth and creamy 3-5 minutes. Scrape the bowl and gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition approximately 2 minutes, until the icing is thick enough for spreading consistency. *You may not need to add all of the sugar. 

Optional: Add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. Icing is best used at room temperature, as it will harden when chilled.

Note: Use and store the icing at room temperature as icing will set if chilled.

Chocolate Icing

Makes icing for 2 dozen cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla 

Sift cocoa powder into six cups of the confectionary sugar. Place room temperature and softened butter in a large mixing bowl. 

Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. 

Beat on medium speed beat until smooth and creamy 3-5 minutes. Scrape the bowl and gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition approximately 2 minutes, until the icing is thick enough for spreading consistency. *You may not need to add all of the sugar. 

Note: For deeper chocolate; heat just until melted,2 Tablespoons chocolate chips in the microwave and combine with butter and sugar before adding milk. 

Use and store the icing at room temperature as icing will set if chilled.

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