Universal Symbol Of Life

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The egg itself, like a seed, is a symbol of the potential of life. Back in ancient times the egg was a symbol of the universe, of creation, and in some cultures, luck wealth, and health. 

Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous New Year!

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What's equally as good with high tea, sparking wine, or frosty beer at a tailgate? I have an egg of an idea - the deviled egg. It's one of those hors d'oeuvre platters that spans the occasion ladder from high brow to low brow; which always empties fast, because it is so difficult to have just one. The name deviled implies hot, but need not be. It is simply hard boiled eggs chilled and halved with the yolk whipped into a flavorful filling of a wide variety of flavors such as; mayonaise, sour cream, yogurt, Dijon mustard, etc. You can even spice it up with a touch of cayenne, hot sauce or wasabi. Use a touch of fresh herbs like dill, cilantro or chives, it's a nice touch. Make special occasion up-end garnishes such as chopped proscuitto, crisp chopped pancetta or with a sliver of smoked salmon, sour cream and caviar.

Great way to start off the New Year!

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Recipe for Health, Wealth & Good Fortune

Join me + Tune-in George Hirsch Lifestyle CreateTV Sat Dec 29th 6AM/6PM + Sun Dec 30th 12:30PM

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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The Feast of Seven Fishes

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The Feast of Seven Fishes

A popular southern Italian tradition celebrated all over the world is the Feast of the Seven Fishes. In Italy it is called “la cena della vigilia,” or Christmas Eve Dinner, December 24th, observed by abstaining from eating meat on Christmas Eve, enjoying the holiday meal with family, filled with a seafood spread. 

George Hirsch Lifestyle, Feast of the Seven Fishes

WHY SEVEN? Some say the number seven represents the seven sacraments, seven days of creation, or simply the fact that seven signifies perfection in the Bible. This may be speculation, however what is known is that this celebration is something that is very much appreciated and shared by most Italians and lovers of fish.

Fish: You will find virtually any Mediterranean fish prepared from this region. Everything from anchovies to eel. Popular fishes in the feast include calamari, smelts, clams, and shrimp. 

One of my favorite is baccalá, a dried, salted cod. 

Baccala How To: To reconstitute the baccalá, you soak it for two days, changing the water three or four times.

I prepare the baccalá several ways including sauted and with tomatoes, but it's also quite popular to prepare it in the oven with potatoes or even in a salad with potatoes and black olives.

The Seven Fishes is a feast that brings family and friends together to celebrate a very important evening, and the seafood is only the centerpiece of what really takes place..keeping a tradition alive with family and friends. Isn’t that what holidays are really about? Buone feste! 

Seafood Chowder

Fritto Misto

Linguini Calamari Sauce

Baccala and Potato Recipe

Capitone Arrosto & Fritto

Clam Pie Recipe

Mussels in White Wine Sauce

Stuffed Calamari Recipe

Shrimp Risotto Recipe

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Grilled Fillet of Beef with Red Wine Sauce

 Join me + Tune-in George Hirsch Lifestyle CreateTV Sat Dec 29th 6AM/6PM + Sun Dec 30th 12:30PM

The ultimate prized piece of beef is the fillet mignon, the center of the beef tenderloin. Because this cut of beef has no fat on the surface, it should be brushed with oil before cooking. The cooking times for beef will vary according to the temperature of the fire as well as the temperature of the meat and the air. A beef fillet, or beef tenderloin, is the most tender of all beef cuts. It contains no bone or fat. Although the fillet is fork-tender, it lacks a real beefy flavor so it is often seasoned before roasting and served with a sauce

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Grilled Fillet of Beef with Red Wine Sauce

chefgeorgehirsch.com | adapted from Know Your Fire Cookbook

2 pound beef tenderloin roast, trimmed

2 teaspoons hot sauce

1/4 cup prepared mustard

2 Tablespoons coarsely crushed peppercorns

1 teaspoon Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

2 Tablespoons olive oil

For the Shitake Mushrooms & Red Wine Sauce

2 Tablespoons sweet butter

1 cup sliced shitake mushrooms

2 shallots, finely chopped or 2 Tablespoons chopped onions

1/4 cup dry red wine 

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 Tablespoon sherry, optional

Preheat the grill or grill pan to high.

Rub the meat with the hot sauce and spread evenly with the mustard on all sides. Mix the peppercorns and parsley together and pat onto the meat. Brush beef with olive oil. 

Sear the meat on the grill until it is brown on all sides. Lower the heat to medium and finish cooking to desired doneness. For rare, the approximate time is 7-8 minutes per pound, 8-10 minutes for medium rare, 10-12 minutes for medium. Cool the meat slightly for five minutes and slice thin. 

Meanwhile, in a saute pan melt the butter over medium heat and add the shitake mushrooms and shallots. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to get a little color. Add the wine and thyme and cook 1 minute. If inclined, add the sherry.

To serve, garnish the steaks with the mushrooms and red wine sauce.

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Glühwein Recipe

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During the Christmas season many German town centers have street markets with stalls selling cookies, arts and crafts, wooden toys and other festive items. Almost every street corner seems to boast Bratwurst and Glühwein stalls. Light a roaring fire and pour yourself a small glass of warm, spicy red wine. Below is a basic recipe, but in Germany vendors will offer you additional flavorings such as elderberry cordial or a shot of dark rum. At home, spike it too, if you choose.

Heat your Glühwein in a large saucepan on the stove or in a large jug in the microwave, but don't let it boil or the alcohol will evaporate. If you want a less alcoholic drink, then mix in apple juice or water.

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Glühwein Recipe

Chef George Hirsch | Makes 6 servings

1 bottle full-bodied red wine

1 small lemon

6 orange slices

10 cloves

3 cinnamon sticks

4-6 Tablespoons sugar

3 ounces brandy

Preparation

Pour the wine into a large saucepan. Cut the lemon in quarters. Stick the cloves into the rind of one quarter. Slice the rest thinly. Add the lemon quarter and orange slices to the pan with the cinnamon and sugar. Heat slowly until hot, but do not allow to boil. Add brandy and serve in heatproof glasses or small cups Place a metal teaspoon in the glass before adding the hot liquid to prevent glass from breaking.

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