Melanzane al Pomodoro

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

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 Wed 8:30AM/2:30PM Sun 8:30AM

Cooking Melanzane al Pomodoro is perfect this time of year when farms are abundant with eggplant and tomatoes. My Eggplant Sauce recipe is without a meat/protein in the ingredients, but feel free to add grilled sausage, chicken, or shrimp if desired. If you are looking for that under thirty minutes to-cook-to-table dish without compromising flavor for time, this is it. And, you can create variations on this recipe, which is very easy to do. 

This pasta sauce is great served warm or chilled added with a tube shaped pasta.

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George's Eggplant Sauce

Makes 4 servings 

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

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups eggplant, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

8 cloves garlic, chopped

6 plum tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup pitted calamata olives, chopped

1/2 cup white whine

1 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano, thyme, hot pepper flakes

2 Tablespoons pine nuts

2 Tablespoons fresh basil

parmesan cheese to taste and fresh black pepper

Preheat a large nonstick saucepan.  

Add half the olive oil; then eggplant, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and bell pepper.  Cook until light brown.  Add the wine, chicken broth, olives, dried basil, oregano, thyme and hot sauce.  Cook for 10 to 12 minutes.

Top with remaining olive oil, fresh basil and pine nuts.

Excellent with a rigatoni or tube shape pasta.

Creamy Tomato Soup as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

Join me on GHL Mondays + Fridays Tune-in Create TV 8AM + 2PM

One of the most popular types of comfort food combinations is the soup and sandwich. And, one of the most popular soup/sandwich combinations is tomato soup and grilled cheese. For my Vintage Classics episode on GHL I prepared Creamy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese with farm fresh bread, cured French ham and aged cheddar. For the ultimate tomato soup I combined a mix of fresh ripe San Marzano plum tomatoes and canned San Marzano tomatoes. During peak harvest season when there is a plentiful supply of farm fresh tomatoes available I would use all fresh, but during shoulder seasons I will mix with high quality San Marzano canned tomatoes. 

Once all your ingredients are assembled comfort can be achieved in about thirty minutes. Mmm Mmm Good!!! 

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George’s Creamy Tomato Soup

Makes 6-8 servings

 chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle 

5 large ripe San Marzano Plum tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tablespoons sweet butter

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2-4 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

2- 15 ounce cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes

4 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme, basil

hot sauce, sea salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1 cup half-and-half 

Pre heat a large 4 quart soup pot.

Add olive oil, onion, garlic and fresh plum tomatoes. Stir and sweat 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the butter and when melted, then add the flour, sir and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the canned San Marzano tomatoes, stir, and simmer 5 minutes. 

Add the chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, and dried basil, simmer for 5 minutes.

Add fresh basil and simmer for 5 additional minutes. 

Remove bay leaves and take the soup off the stove. For a creamier soup use a food pulser and puree slightly leaving a few chunks of tomatoes. Return back to stove and bring back to a boil, and add the optional half-and-half. 

Lower heat and simmer 2 minutes.  

Add hot sauce, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Served topped with crunchy croutons and a few drops of olive oil.

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.

Quantity:
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Corn Tortilla Soup

In NYC Sunday 1/25?  Join George for a meet & greet at the NY Times Travel Show at Create TV Exhibit (#978). He'll share his Signature Seasoned North Fork Chips for the first 100 who stop by. And, one lucky winner will be selected to receive an autographed cookbook. 

All Natural, Farm Fresh, Grown and Kettle Cooked From Sidor Farms. North Fork Chips Original Chef George Hirsch's Signature Seasoning dusted with Herb & Spice and a Smoky Garlic Kick!

The making of tortillas dates back approximately 10,000 BC, according to Mayan legend. Tortillas are really not much different today. Tortilla soup is ideal to serve up on numerous occasions from a game-day party to even a church supper. The ingredients are universally available along with it's wide appeal. I've prepared this recipe around the globe with several variations including fish, shellfish, beef or pork.

Taking the time to pre-grill the chicken, sausage and vegetables in this recipe makes a great flavor enhancer to this soup. After-all, when tailgating, the entire soup would be prepared on a grill. I've also included instructions for this recipe to be fully cooked indoors, in case the snow happens to bury your grill, or just dig that grill out!

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Chef George's Corn Tortilla Soup Corn Tortilla Soup

Makes 4 servings | Adapted from Know Your Fire cookbook

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 pound boneless chicken thighs*

2 chorizos or spicy sausages*

Olive oil

2 ears of corn or 1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 sweet onion, *thickly sliced

2 red bell pepper, *halved and seeded

2 jalapeño peppers, *split and seeded

3-4 plum tomatoes, *halved

1 head caramelized garlic, pureed

3 scallions, chopped

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 cup tomato sauce

6 cups chicken broth

1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon hot sauce

3 (8-inch) corn or flour tortillas

fresh ground pepper to taste

1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded

* Chop into small pieces if not pre-grilling the chicken, chorizos and vegetables.

Pre heat the grill to medium high if grilling vegetables and meat. Or, directly add vegetables and meat into a large soup pot if making indoors.

Brush chicken thighs with olive oil. Grill chicken and chorizos 7-8 minutes on each side. Remove, cool and cut into half inch pieces.

If using fresh corn, grill the corn. And, if grilling vegetables - brush with olive oil and grill 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove, cool and chop into small pieces. Or, if not grilling vegetables chop into small pieces for the next step.

Pre heat a large soup pot to medium temperature. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, all the grilled vegetables, chicken, chorizo, tomatoes, cumin, and tomato sauce. Cook for 5 minutes. 

Add chicken broth, bay leaves, and hot sauce. bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, on a low temperature grill place the tortillas on grill and toast lightly on both sides. Cut the tortillas into strips 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide. Tortillas may also be cut into strips and lightly toasted in a hot oven- if not toasting on a grill. Add 3/4 of the tortilla strips to the soup during the last 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and season with pepper and cilantro. 

Serve hot soup topped with cheese and remaining tortilla strips.