Marathon

Fresh fennel adds a rich benefit of potassium & calcium...

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As most of you know from my cookbooks and TV shows, one of my favorite ways to cook is  with simple clean food. What is clean? Basically, food in it's natural state and not over worked with heavy seasoning or sauces. A good example would be my Marathon Salad. Fresh, crisp and seasonal with the first harvest from the farm.  So go ahead and shave some marathon on asparagus and peas for the season's best!

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Since the times of ancient Greece, fennel was called marathon. Greek myths tell that knowledge was delivered to man by the gods at Olympus in a fennel stalk. More importantly, in those times fennel was revered by the Greeks and the Romans for its medicinal properties in culinary. Crunchy and slightly sweet - fennel is a highly versatile vegetable that is wonderful when eaten raw, grilled, braised, sauted with other veggies or chopped and used in salads. Like celery, carrots and onions I always keep a bulb or two on hand in my fridge. I also love its distinct anise flavor. It’s great when simply shaved and served as a salad with sliced beets, roasted vegetables arugula, Parmesan, and a light touch of fresh lemon and olive oil.  

START YOUR YEAR OFF RIGHT George Hirsch Living it UP! cookbook contains a 30-day mnu plan for an active healthy life.

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Recipe for Health, Wealth & Good Fortune

Tune-in CreateTV Marathon GHL Dec 30th Sat 10:30AM / 10:30PM + Sun Dec 31st 4:30PM

For many Americans, New Year's means parties, football, and watching the ball drop in Times Square. But for others here and around the world the celebration wouldn't be complete without certain delicious traditional foods.

In Italy, the people welcome the New Year by tossing old things out of their windows to make room for the new and luck to enter their lives in the upcoming year. In food traditions, the Italian people cook up a dish called Cotechino Con Lenticchie: pork sausage served over lentils. This dish is eaten because of the presence of fatty rich pork sausage and lentils in the dish. Cotechino sausage is a symbol of abundance because they are rich in fat; while the coin-shaped lentils symbolize money. It is delicious.

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Cotechino Con Lenticchie: Pork Sausage Served over Lentils

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

This hearty and satisfying dish is traditionally eaten on New Year's Day to bring abundance and fortune. Cotechino is an Italian fresh pork sausage. It is creamy and delicate in flavor. It is sometimes sold precooked or boiled but the best ones are fresh. If you can't find cotechino a high quality fresh pork sausage flavored with nutmeg, cloves and pepper will suffice. 

1 pound cotechino, pork sausage
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 large carrot, chopped
1 bay leaf
8 whole black peppercorns
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 pound dry green lentils
4 cups chicken broth
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped 

Pierce the cotechino with a fork in several places. 

Pre heat a large pot and add olive oil, chopped onion, garlic, carrot, 1 bay leaf, peppercorns and thyme. Simmer vegetables for two minutes and add cotechino, cook two minutes and add lentils, cover with 4 cups broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 45 to 50 minutes or until lentils are soft. Add additional water if necessary. 

Remove the bay leaf and discard. Spoon the lentils into a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and slice rounds of the cotechino over the top. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve. 

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Macho Nacho

Tune-in CreateTV Marathon GHL Dec 30th Sat 10:30AM / 10:30PM + Sun Dec 31st 4:30PM

When planning recipes to cook on my TV shows, one of my favorite things to do is to name the TV episodes. After many hours that go behind taping an episode, it's actually quite fun coming up with titles. These are some of my favorites: 'Wok This Way", "Rolling in the Dough", "Popping Your Cork", "Pasta-bilities" and todays post from "Macho Nacho".

This shrimp nacho is a great recipe to kick off a New Year's Eve party. The shrimp is marinated in lime and tequila and then served over a bed of nachos. Even better about this recipe its a quick heat up in the oven—or brave hearts can take it outside to the grill for a smoky flavorful addition.

George Hirsch Shrimp Nachos

Cilantro Shrimp Nachos

Makes One Platter of Nachos

chefgeorgehirsch.com | From George Hirsch Living it UP! cookbook

1 pound large shrimp 26-30, peeled deveined and marinated 

1/4 cup cooked or canned black beans

1/4 cup corn, cooked or grilled off the cob

2 green onions, chopped

6 jalapeno peppers, grilled & sliced

4 cups tortilla chips (assorted, blue corn, red corn, and yellow corn)

1 Tablespoon cilantro, roughly chopped

1/2 cup jack cheese, shredded

For the Shrimp Marinade:

1/4  cup lime juice

2 oz Tequila

2 Tablespoons cilantro

1 Head caramelized garlic

1 Tablespoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon cumin

2 Tablespoons corn syrup

In a medium bowl, combine all marinade ingredients. Add shrimp and allow to marinate 20 minutes in the refrigerator, drain and save marinade.

Pre-heat a grill or saute pan. Pour in the reserved marinade and bring to a quick boil. Add shrimp and cook on high heat for 4-5 minutes or until shrimp is cooked. Remove cooked shrimp from pan and reserve.

To assemble nachos- on an oven proof or grill pan, place tortilla chips, beans, corn, green onions, jalapenos, cooked shrimp and cheese. Warm on covered grill until nachos are warm and cheese melts. Top with fresh cilantro and serve with pico de gallo and guacamole.

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Soup Under Thirty

Tune-in CreateTV Marathon GHL Dec 30th Sat 10:30AM / 10:30PM + Sun Dec 31st 4:30PM

Here's a little inspiration from Bologna via cooking-up a brothy and hearty tortellini soup. The tortellini originates from the north-cental part of Italy. Many legends lay claim to the origins of tortellini; none of which I hold much belief in.. from an inn-keeper who replicated Venus' belly button, to claims of tortellini mimicking the shape of a turtle, to replicating 17th-century architectural features of Modena. Whatever you believe, these dumpling-like pasta can become a legend in your kitchen. 

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Eat more greens in your diet!

Adding deep green veggies to your diet will provide you with valuable nutrients that your body really needs during the winter. During cold season, fending off colds means strengthening your immune system. Power up with fennel, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, lettuces, green beans, kale and collards. Drop them in soups. Steaming vegetables is a quick and healthy side dish. Fresh is best. Frozen is the next best option. Canned veggies are the least desirable, because of the high sodium content. (Popeye’s strength may have benefited from 'me spinach', but he had high blood pressure from the high sodium content in his canned veggie.)

This pasta soup dish is wonderful as an appetizer or a luncheon entrée. The best part is that it can be ready in under 30 minutes. Serve alongside my Flatbread Pizzas

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Tortellini Basil Soup

makes 6-8 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 cup sweet onion, chopped

8 cloves caramelized garlic

1 cup canned San Marzano Tomatoes, chopped

4 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1 quarter cup fresh spinach leaves, shredded

8 cups chicken or vegetable broth

8 ounces cheese tortellini

1 cup small white beans, cooked or canned

Pinch nutmeg

Grated parmesan cheese to taste

Fresh ground black pepper

Pre heat a medium soup pot to medium temperature.

Add olive oil, onion, garlic, tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and add tortellini, spinach, basil, and white beans. Simmer until tortellinis are al dente and season with nutmeg, pepper. Add parmesan cheese to taste. Serve with a basil leaf on top. 

NOTE: This recipe requires a good quality tortellini, if you are cooking the pasta in the broth. A lesser quality tortellini will make the soup starchy. If you are not sure of the quality, cook the tortellini separately and add pasta to the soup right before serving. 

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