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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Perfect Summertime Condiment

Officially summer weather arrives June 21st. However, when temperatures reach north of 90 degrees, I find it's time to chill down supper food selections and prepare cold plates, just like as I ate as a child. My Mom, a delicious cook and a consummate organizer and doer, would cook first thing in the morning, before temperatures became too hot in the kitchen. It makes such sense and is still the way food is prepared in many European cultures today. Besides, having to cool things off in the kitchen, it was also the custom at home with non-meat Fridays, enjoying cold fish suppers. On those Fridays, dishes my mom would cook-up included grilled or poached fish such as tuna or cod; along with boiled potatoes, garden green beans, vine ripe tomatoes, boiled eggs, and sliced onion. The highlight for me on chilled supper night was the cold sauce made with garlic and mayonnaise. Later I learned, in my early culinary days that sauce was called an aïoli; a simple yet traditional emulsified sauce with garlic, olive oil and egg yolk. 

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It is a perfect summertime condiment and also goes well with roasted chicken, if fish is not on the menu.

With so many ways to prepare aïoli, the consistent ingredient that holds true across all ethnic regions is the garlic. The Occitan valleys of Italy serves aioli with boiled potatoes. In Cataluña and most of the Spanish mediterranean coast, allioli is purely a garlic mayonnaise. France's Le Grand Aïoli, dedicates a complete dish consisting of various boiled vegetables such as carrots, beets, cauliflower, green beans, yellow flesh potatoes, and boiled fish, such as salted cod with boiled eggs and the aioli sauce. The version from Provence adds Dijon mustard to the sauce, like I prefer; which in addition to flavor also helps in the emulsification of the oil to be suspended by the liquid of the sauce.  

Aïoli is ideal to serve as a sauce for foods like above, but it's also wonderful as a spread on toasted French bread or pommes frites. Some may find that the raw garlic can leave too strong a taste. That is true, especially with summer garlic which has more of a bitter bite and has just recently been harvested. No need to avoid this tasty sauce or feel you'll need a shot of mouthwash, there is a tastier solution. I use my long time recipe for caramelized garlic to soften and sweeten the punch on my aïoli in place of raw garlic. 

To Yolk or Not to Yolk?

There is of course the food safety issue to point out regarding making aïoli from scratch, because of using uncooked raw egg yolks. Always make sure the eggs are very fresh, and best obtained from someone you know! One of my recipes is for using prepared mayonnaise and covers any concerns of food safety. Today, there is even mayonnaise made with olive oil, that I prefer. The choice is yours, go traditional with making a classic Provence style aïoli or make it semi-authentic with a prepared mayo; the choice is yours. Either way you'll be shouting bring on the Le Grand Aïoli!

The technique of making an aïoli is to create an emulsion with the egg yolks, supporting the liquid from the olive oil. Do not over pulse or mix the yolks and oil. Do not add the oil too slow or too fast. This technique may require some trial and error. If done correctly you will have a thick mayonnaise-like sauce; or if the sauce is broken, the oil will have separated from the yolks and will look more like a vinaigrette.

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Classic Aïoli

 Makes 1 1/2 cups

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*8 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

Coarse sea salt

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

3 large egg yolks, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon

A couple drops of water

Fresh ground black pepper

Always use caution with raw eggs. And this sauce must be kept chilled after it is prepared. 

In a food processor or preferably a mortar pound the garlic cloves with pinch of sea salt and Dijon mustard until a thick paste forms. Add in the egg yolks and begin adding in the olive oil a few drops at a time with a fork or whisk. Continue to add the olive oil in a steady stream as the aïoli begins to thicken. Stop and add a few drops of lemon juice, gradually add remaining olive oil and a few drops of water if the sauce becomes too thick. When all of the oil has been incorporated, season the aïoli with additional lemon juice, sea salt and pepper to taste.

Serve chilled. The aïolii can be tightly covered and refrigerated overnight. 

* A classic aïoli is made with raw garlic but again I prefer using caramelized garlic in place of raw garlic which offers a much sweeter and nuttier taste.

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Garlic Aïoli with Crostini

Makes about 1 1/2 cups 

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A strong flavored garlic mayonnaise from the Provence region of southern France. Traditionally the mayonnaise is made from scratch with egg yolks. I prefer this version, as it is safer and faster to make. 

Crostini, meaning “little toasts” in Italian, crostini are small, thin slices of toasted bread, which are usually brushed with olive oil-excellent spread with Aioli. 

3/4 cup mayonnaise 

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard 

1 head caramelized garlic

1/4 cup olive oil 

Juice of 1/2 lemon 

1/4 cup basil 

To Make Crostini:

1 loaf Italian bread 

Olive oil for brushing toasts. 

Puree the garlic in the bottom of a small bowl. Add mustard, mayonnaise and stir in olive oil. Add lemon juice and basil. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. 

Slice Italian bread into small pieces, toast and brush toast with olive oil. Spread a generous amount of aïoli on toasts. 

Serve aïoli and crostini with your favorite vegetables and seafood. 

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George’s Double Chocolate Brownies

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An often requested recipe from George Hirsch Lifestyle, it is ideal for every occasion. Enjoy as is or upgrade by topping with your favorite ice cream. The brownie derives its character from a deep rich cocoa base for the chocolate flavor.

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George Hirsch Lifestyle Double Chocolate Brownies

George’s Double Chocolate Brownies

Makes 12-18 Brownies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound (2 sticks) sweet butter, softened at room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts

1 1/2 cups semisweet chopped chocolate pieces; or chocolate, or butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Grease and flour an 8 x 12 x 2 inch-baking pan.

In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt well. Set aside.

Cream butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add granulated sugar, cream on high speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. 

On a low speed add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, stopping machine to scrape down the bowl well after each addition. On a low speed add flour and cocoa powder to the butter mixture and mix just until flour is absorbed. Do not over mix. 

By hand, fold the pecans and chocolate in with a rubber spatula.

Optional: if using coconut; mix 3/4 of coconut with pecans and chocolate. 

Using a spatula, spread the batter into baking pan making sure the batter is spread evenly and smooth. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Caution to not over bake. Brownies are baked when pressed cakes springs back when pressed lightly with your finger or a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 2 hours and cut the brownies into rectangle or square pieces.

Know Your Cookie:

A brownie is considered a sheet cookie, as it's soft batter spreads across sheet like pan to bake. Other types of sheet cookies would include blondies and rainbow cookies. After sheet cookies are baked they are cooled and can be cut into squares, rectangles or any other shapes. 

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KYFF, Pork BBQ

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I’m getting into dangerous territory here, because I’m talking pork Q. There is nothing I like better than a slow cooked smoked pork shoulder or butt, served with a soft piece of bread and a vinegary sauce. Sounds good, doesn't it? However, you’ll have to wait five plus hours for the real deal or jump in the car and head to your favorite smokehouse. Here’s a solution. Whip-up my BBQ Pork Sandwich as a snack while you slowly cook up a pork shoulder. 

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It’s a winner just from the reaction I’ve received over the years from my TV show and grilling it up on many TV shows. The trick is in a little advanced planning by applying a dry rub on a tender pork tenderloin for 24 hours, then quickly grill for 15-25 minutes! I’ve prepared this crowd pleaser many times. Enjoy!

George Hirsch's Pork BBQ Sandwich

Makes six servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | ©1995 Gather 'Round the Grill cookbook by George Hirsch with Marie Bianco

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin 

1/4 cup Pork Rub

2 Tablespoons olive oil

6 soft rolls or hamburger buns

1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup Q Sauce

Dry rub the pork tenderloin. Rub pork spices over pork tenderloin and refrigerate until ready to cook*. (*If time permits, putting the rub on one day prior or two hours before cooking will really increase the flavor)

PORK RUB:

2 Teaspoons each powdered garlic, paprika

1 Tablespoon each black pepper, rosemary, thyme, Chipotle rub

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Q SAUCE:

1/4 cup BBQ Sauce

1/4 cup Steak Sauce

1/4 cup Hoisen sauce (Chinese BBQ sauce)

2 Tablespoons ketchup

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

Mix all ingredients. Serve sauce warm or at room temperature.

TIP: To cut cooking time in half, butterfly the meat. Use skewers to keep the meat from curling up.

To cook pork: 

Pre Heat Grill to high heat.

Rub olive oil over pork tenderloin. Place pork tenderloins on high heat and grill to golden brown turning once on all sides. Lower heat to medium, cook until pork is fully cooked about 15-25 minutes* (see *Tip). Remove from grill and let meat rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Slice pork tenderloin very thin, pile high on soft buns. Drizzle Q Sauce over meat, top with finely shredded cabbage.

13 EPISODES on 4 HD-DVD Disk Set
19.95
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No Mayo Slaw

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I am not a huge fan of mayonnaise. And certainly, I prefer my coleslaw without it. This is the quintessential side salad for a beach picnic. And is actually ideal to be used as a sandwich condiment. It is crunchy, tangy and refreshing. Good idea to make a day ahead allowing all the flavors to marinade together. This slaw goes well served along with a summer Lobster Roll, and on crispy rolls with good BBQ Pork Slider.

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Beach Slaw

Makes six servings

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4 cups new green cabbage, shredded fine 

1 cup red cabbage, shred fine

2 green onions, chopped 

1 carrot shredded

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons olive oil 

2 Tablespoons honey 

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

Fresh ground black pepper

pinch of sea salt - get it..sea, beach...

Mix vinegar, olive oil, honey, mustard, black pepper and sea salt in a glass or non reactive bowl.  Add shredded green and red cabbage, green onions and carrots. Toss, refrigerate and place in plastic food bag prior top heading to the beach. 

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13 EPISODES on 4 HD-DVD Disk Set
19.95

AS SEEN ON PUBLIC TELEVISION & CREATE TV-
FEATURING CHEF GEORGE HIRSCH DEMONSTRATING HIS SAVORY COOKING, BAKING AND GRILLING RECIPES; WITH HIS EXPERT CULINARY TIPS & TECHNIQUES, ALONG WITH VISITS TO HIS INSPIRING HAMPTON LOCATIONS.