BBQ, Grilling + Bourbon Sauce

With Mother's Day this weekend, top off your favorite grilled meats this weekend with my Bourbon Sauce.  I dedicate this recipe to my friends in Kentucky; the inspiration for this recipe. I've used this as a great finishing sauce for most proteins; including beef, pork and chicken. Tip: use only the best bourbon!

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Be very careful saying BBQ when you should be saying grilling - especially in BBQ country.

BBQ: It's a science of cooking protein by indirect heat, with dedication. I emphasize the word dedication because there is NO speedy way to BBQ. Two words, low and slow. I spent many years teaching the art of heat and fire, and in this case Q. There really is so much to learn and each Q occasion is always an unique experience with many factors; like air temperature, humidity, moisture, wind, etc. One of the best ways to Know Your Fire is to experience it first hand. It's one of those things you intrinsically feel and only come to understand when you are in the fire pit - so to speak. I tip my hat to all pitmasters. 

Grilling: This is the way most people will cook with their backyard grill; grilling proteins such as burgers, steak, chicken, seafood, as well as veggies. This is the use of direct heat cooking at a higher temperature for shorter cooking times over the fire. Again, practice makes perfect, so there's no time like the present to learn or expand your current grilling skills. 

Bourbon Sauce

Makes 5 cups

chefgeorgehirsch.comGrilling with Chef George Hirsch cookbook 

1 cup Dijon Mustard

1 cup steak sauce

1 cup bourbon 

1 cup honey and 1 cup ketchup

1 Tablespoon orange zests

Juice of one lemon and one orange

In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients; simmer gently for 4-5 minutes. Serve with ribs, steak, or grilled meats.

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Thank You Mr. and Mrs. Benedict

The story behind this world famous legendary brunch dish may or may not be true. But, when a dish calls for eggs to take center stage, or center of the plate this is always the one that first comes to mind. Here's my Eggs Benedict Recipe, taken from Know Your Fire cookbook by George Hirsch with Marie Bianco. Enjoy!

 Know Your Fire cookbook by George Hirsch with Marie Bianco

Pâte à Choux

Maybe because it has a French name, or maybe it's because it has a two step process, (first cooked on the stove top, then in the oven) but many cooks avoid this recipe. Make it once and you will be a convert. Cream puff pastry is versatile, and whether it is baked for cream puffs or eclairs, it freezes well. Since they defrost in minutes they can be stuffed with ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce fairly easily prepared for impromptu gatherings + special occasions.


Pâte à Choux (Cream Puff Pastry)

Recipe by Chef George Hirsch | from KNOW YOUR FIRE Cookbook, 1997 by George Hirsch with Marie Bianco 

1 cup of water

4 Tablespoons vegetable oil

3 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Combine the water, vegetable oil, butter, milk and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cook the mixture over low heat until it dries slightly and leaves the sides of the pan, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each one is fully absorbed before adding the next one.

Cover a baking sheet, preferably one without sides, with parchment paper.

Place the paste in a pastry bag with a round tip with a 1/2 inch opening. To make cream puffs, hold the pastry bag at a 45 degree angle touching a paper lined pan. Squeeze the bag. Continue forming the puffs 1 to 2 inches apart. To make eclairs, squeeze the bag as you pull it toward you, making 3 inch long fingers.

Place the choux in the oven, and after 5 minutes, lower the temperature to 375 degrees F. Depending on size, they will require 10 to 15 minutes total cooking time. NOTE: If the oven door is opened before they're almost finished baking, they will collapse, so don;t peek until 10  minutes have passed. To test for doneness, tap one on the bottom. It should sound hollow. Remove and cool on a rack.

How to fill cream puffs:

Wait until the puffs are cool and cut off the top third with a sharp knife. Fill the hollow bottom with a savory such as chicken or crab meat salad or sweet such as pastry cream or ice cream Replace the top and serve. If the filling is a sweet one, dust the cream puffs with confectioners' sugar or pour chocolate sauce over the top.