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Cone Maker

It's that time of year, ice cream cone season. The pizzelle maker is a way to make the ice cream cone experience meglio; meaning better in Italian.

The pizzella, known to be one of the oldest cookies originates from Abruzzo, Italy. The waffle cookie is made from a simple batter; making a popular treat during Christmas + Easter seasons. And it is also common for the pizzella to be rolled into cigar like shape and filled with cannoli cream.

Recipe Chef George Hirsch | Makes about 2 dozen pizzelle

Thin, crisp cookies called pizzelle can be transformed into irresistible ice cream cones or rolled into small shells for filling.

3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup pure cane granulated sugar
8 Tablespoons sweet butter, melted
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Anise, Sambuca, or Amaretto

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale yellow and whisk marks remain in the batter, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the melted butter, the Sambuca, vanilla, lemon zest, and mix.

Mix together the flour and baking powder. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture in two stages, folding each addition just until blended. 

Heat pizzelle maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Brush lightly with melted butter and spoon about 1 Tablespoon of the batter onto the pizzelle maker. Cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until golden brown. Remove and place pizzelle on cooling rack. Repeat steps with remaining batter.

If making cannoli shells or bowls form warm wafer cookies over forms while still warm. Allow to fully cool prior to filling.

George's GOOD STUFF PICK: Chef's Choice Pizzelle Maker



La Fondita

My favorite al fresco little Kitchen with big flavor is located on 27 East in Amagansett, NY. I consider La fondita one of my regular local eateries for a quick, fresh and authentic bite of Mexican fare — lucky for me close to my home.

No tacos today. I enjoyed fresh Guacamole and Tortilla Chips, Barbacoa de Res Steamed (chile rubbed beef ribs), Posole Rojo (pork + white hominy soup) and classico Hecho en Mexico Coca Cola.

Emphasizing the fresh ingredients of a traditional taqueria, La fondita's authentic Mexican "street food" is perfect take-away or to enjoy in our outdoor garden. Tacos, Posole Rojo, Tostadas and Enchiladas are just a few of the Mexican specialties that can be enjoyed at La Fondita.


San Marzano Harvest

It's been two months and I just picked my first batch of fresh San Marzano tomatoes. They are very similar to Roma tomatoes, but originating from San Marzano in Southern Italy. San Marzanos have fewer seeds, the flesh is meatier and the taste is a bit sweeter. This variety is gaining in popularity stateside and are more readily available at local markets.

By the way it's National Farmers Market Week.

To further awareness of farmers markets and of the many important contributions farmers make to daily life in America, I, Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, proclaims the week of August 5-11, 2012, as National Farmers Market Week; encouraging the people of the United States to celebrate the benefits of farmers markets and the bountiful production of our Nation's farmers with appropriate observances and activities.

These gorgeous heirloom plum tomatoes are ideal for a fresh quick sauce, gazpacho or bruschetta. If you don't have access to this variety fresh picked, I also use San Marzano brand canned for sauces. But, only use fresh for bruschetta.

George's Quick Spicy Tomato Sauce

Makes 4 cups |chefgeorgehirsch.com

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup chopped pancetta

10 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1/2 chopped onion, chopped fine

1/4 cup prosciutto, chopped fine

2 cups canned plum San Marzano tomatoes, crushed

1/4 cup dry white wine

2-4 teaspoons hot pepper flakes

10-12 fresh basil leaves, lightly torn

Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a saucepan and heat the olive oil.  Add the pancetta and cook until it becomes light brown.  Add the garlic, onion and prosciutto and cook 2-3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, white wine, hot pepper flakes, basil and black pepper, stir well and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  You can regulate the spiciness of the dish by adding more or less hot pepper flakes.

Suggested Pasta: 1 pound Bucatini

Heat a large pot of water and cook the Bucatini according to package directions.  Make sure to drain the pasta very carefully, shaking the colander to discard any water remaining inside the Bucatini.

Return the pasta to the cooking pot, add the sauce, mix well and serve in deep bowl.  Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.