Chocolate Brownie Cookies

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As great addition to any cookie platter. Plus, a chocolate treat in under 30 minutes - mixing and baking. But can you wait 24 hours? Probably not, but just save a few because these cookies actually taste even better a few days after baked. Eyes-go-wide open on the first bite. Try my recipe for yourself and you'll agree. For best results use a good quality cocoa.

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Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Makes 3 dozen large or 6 dozen small 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 1/3 cups sweet butter

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 each eggs

2 1/4 cups flour

2/3 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons milk

1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped 

1 cup mini chocolate chips, semi sweet, or chopped chocolate

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar one minute, or until creamy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating lightly after each.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk beating at low speed about 1 minute, or just until blended. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

Drop dough by heaping 2 Tablespoons spoonful on ungreased baking sheet. 

Bake at 350F for 10 to 12 minutes. Cookies will still appear soft and moist when baked, but firm up on cooling. Cool slightly, then remove to cooling rack. About 3 dozen cookies.

Tip: Smaller cookies can be made using 1 Tablespoon dough for each cookie, baking for 8 to 10 minutes.

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Piri-piri

George Hirsch Know Your Fire Fridays

I can’t think of anything better than this sauce for this week's Know Your Fire Friday. Yes you will still be lighting the grill - this is just a different kind of heat to top your grilled foods with.

Piri-piri is a Portuguese name of Brazilian origin for the African bird's eye chili. Piri-piri sauce is made by soaking dried or fresh chili’s in lemon and vinegar to make a condiment much like the Argentine chimichurri, but only with a really fiery kick. When using fresh and very ripened red chilies - you'll know they are ready to pick when the ends of pepper point straight up. 

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A piri-piri sauce is a robust topping when used on seafood and fried fish. But you don’t have to stop there, you can also use on beef, lamb and poultry. Also, this piri-piri sauce can be added to marinades for a little extra kick. Below is a basic version, but experiment by adding a Tablespoon of coconut, coconut milk, cream, ginger and Thai basil for a Far East style. Or, you may add ketchup, brown sugar and extra vinegar for southern flavored heat.  

Using a food processor, add about 4-5 (more or less depends on your fire wish) chilies that have been roughly chopped (suggestion: use gloves), 6 peeled garlic cloves, 1/4 cup mixed cilantro and flat leaf parsley, juice of 2 lemons, 1 Tablespoon white vinegar, 1 Tablespoon sugar, pinch of sea salt and puree 30 seconds or until smooth. Slowly add 1/2 cup olive oil until blended. Pour sauce into a glass or ceramic container. Use a drop or two at a time until you’ve mastered the fire. Sauce will keep for 2-3 weeks in fridge. 

You can add a few drops of piri-piri sauce to these recipes:

Sword Fish Skewers

Chicken Tikka

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Plum Jam

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Beach plum jelly has a taste that's virtually unknown except maybe in the Hamptons, Cape Cod and along the Atlantic Coast. The art of making beach plum jelly, or any jams for that matter, has been revived recently with more people wanting to use local fruits and have a condiment that’s a notch above mass produced jelly-in-a-jar. However, beach plums are kind of fickle, some years they are available and other years, like this summer they are plentiful to pick from their secret spots along the East Hampton dunes. That’s if you are still fortunate to avoid the poison ivy and ticks. A safer bet for me is to make Damson Plum Jam. Or, just reach out to my favorite monks at Trappist Preserves for a mail order jam solution.

Yes, you could say they use a production method of a higher authority. But, what I really love about Trappist Preserves is they use only the best seasonal fruits and make only a certain allotment based on the highest quality, not filling sales quotas. When the Kadota Fig Preserves, or Red Currant Jelly is gone that’s it. And, yes they do make a Damson Plum Jam! 

Watch a past TV series segment, Monks in a Jam: Making Trappist Preserves

Do You Know Your Jam?

- Jams are made from puréed fruit

- Jellies are made from fruit juice

- Marmalades include peel

- Conserves & preserves are made from the whole fruit, but raisins and nuts may be added 

Canning jar instructions for any type of canning.

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Jam is only as good as your fruit. Taste plums and adjust tartness vs. sweetness according to the ripeness of plums. If only using all ripe plums, peel core and chop one green apple in place of unripe plums to aid in adding natural pectin. 

Damson Plum Jam

recipe by Chef George Hirsch | Makes about 6-8 250-ml jars

2 3/4 pounds very ripe Damson plums

1 cup water

1/4 pound unripe Damson plums; contains added natural pectin

Variable: 4-6 cups pure cane granulated sugar, depends on sweetness of plums and personal taste (you may also use a little honey and cut down on some sugar)

juice of 1/2 lemon

6 orange peels- about 2 inches x 1/4 inch, no whites

Wash plums, add the water and simmer the plums until the skins are soft. Allow to cool and remove the pits. 

Optional~ if you do not want plum skins, strain plums through a sieve to remove skins. I prefer the texture and do not strain.

Combine plum puree, lemon juice, orange peel and sugar in a heavy gauged sauce pot. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring occasionally with a long handle spoon until sugar dissolves. Continue to stir frequently to prevent sticking or burning. Cook until the plum puree and sugar reach the jellying point of 220 degrees F. About 20-30 minutes.

Remove from heat and pour hot jam into hot, sterile canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; making sure the tops of the jars are clean so the lids seal. Adjust two-piece sterile metal canning lids. Place jars into a large pot with a strainer on the bottom so jars do not have direct contact with bottom of pot. Cover the filled and closed jars with an inch or so of hot water and boil for 10 minutes. 

George Hirsch TV Series: Making Trappist Preserves

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Johnny Cakes as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

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Johnny Cakes are a cornmeal unleavened flatbread and an early American staple. It is said to have its roots in New England first cooked by the Algonquian Native inhabitants. Think polenta like pancake. Aka Jonnycake, Johnny cake, Journey cake, Shawnee cake, or Johnny bread are ideal to serve for breakfast, brunch or supper in place of bread and biscuits. Dip, dunk or soak   up the juices from savory homemade Lamb Sausages, and warming chowders or soups .   

Johnny Cakes Sausage, George Hirsch Lifestyle

Johnny Cakes

Makes 6 large or 10-12 mini cakes 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle 

1 cup Fine stone ground yellow or white Cornmeal 

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 1/4 - 1 1/2 and up to 1 3/4 Milk, variable 

2 Tablespoons Butter or fat drippings to grease griddle

Good Quality Maple Syrup 

Pre heat griddle to 375 degrees or an iron skillet or sauté pan.

Mix all ingredients until lightly just until batter like. Allow to rest 5 minutes.

George Hirsch Johnny Cakes

Cook Johnny cake in a well greased griddle or pan with a little melted butter, bacon or sausage drippings. Allow to cakes brown and crisp; turn cakes over once after about 3-4 minutes. repeat. Top with melted butter and good maple syrup. Serve immediately 

Option Seasoning: A classic Johnny Cake is neutral in taste allowing whatever the cakes are served to be the predominate flavor. However, seasoning may be added to spice up according to personal tastes with a pinch of ginger, or allspice, or nutmeg, or pumpkin spice.

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Grilled Garlic Shrimp

Know Your Fire Fridays

Itch'n for grill'n? Time to light up the grill and cook up an easy dish. 

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George Hirsch Skewered Garlic Shrimp

Grilled Garlic Shrimp

Makes four servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

12 large Shrimp (size U15) peeled deveined, tail left on, skewer each shrimp through tail and front

2 Tablespoons Olive oil

1 Head

Caramelized garlic

Juice from one lemon

1 Tablespoon honey

3 springs Fresh Rosemary

hot sauce to taste

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Chef George's Grilled Garlic Shrimp Salad

Pre heat grill to a very high heat.

Mix all ingredients for shrimp marinade and pour over shrimp.

Cook shrimp on hot grill and place rosemary sprig on top of shrimp while grilling. Cook two minutes on each side, turning once. Baste the shrimp with any remaining marinade. Do not over cook.

Remove shrimp from grill and serve with grilled vegetables or salad.

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