keeping peace with Irish Coffee

I had an enjoyable afternoon tea with fellow Create TV host and Ireland’s TV chef, cookbook author Rachael Allen of Ballymaloe. Rachel and I exchanged our foodie stories and the like beginnings in our culinary careers. She shared with me her simplistic approach to food. I can't agree more. We agree that most are learning from this approach; getting back to the roots of growing and eating locally grown foods. The thing is, this in nothing new in Ireland, in fact they never lost their connection to sustainability. 

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Chefs Rachael Allen and George Hirsch, Adair Manor, Adair Co. Limerick, Ireland However, one topic of discussion is as serious as rugby or politics. I asked just about every person I meet in Ireland which brand of tea they preferred better, Lyons or Barry's. Barry's seemed to hold the lead during our filming. But then upon departure at Irish Customs I was told I was bringing home the wrong brand. They preferred Lyons. I can't be swayed, Barry's fan here.

So in keeping peace let’s drink Irish Coffee, a warming beverage on a chilly evening. Served first to arriving passengers in County Limerick, what is now Shannon International Airport. Ideal served with a slice of Chocolate Torta from George Hirsch Lifestyle. Sláinte! 

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Irish Coffee

Makes one serving

chefgeorgehirsch.com | from George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 ounce Jameson Irish Whiskey

1/2 ounce Baileys Irish Cream

1/2 cup hot strong coffee

Lemon wedge

Sugar to coat glass

Whipped cream

Prepare a sugar-rimmed glass by rubbing a piece of lemon or orange around the rim of a large wine glass. Dip 1/4 inch of the rim of the glass into a plate of sugar, coating the edge.

Place a teaspoon in glass. The spoon will diffuse the heat when hot coffee is poured into the glass. 

Add whiskey and Baileys. Pour coffee into glass over spoon. Remove spoon. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Universal Symbol Of Life

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

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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Croquembouche

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

Traditional Croquembouche with Spun Sugar

Traditional Croquembouche with Spun Sugar

Pâte à Choux, Cream Puff Pastry

Makes 2 to 3 dozen depending on size

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

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.

George’s Pastry Cream

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

Makes 2 pints

Pastry cream or crême patisserie is all flour-based custard used as a filling for cream puffs and eclairs. After it’s cooked, place a sheet of plastic wrap on the surface or sprinkle with granulated sugar to prevent a “skin” from forming and refrigerate immediately.

1 1/2 pints milk

2 Tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

Combine milk, butter and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

In a separate bowl combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, flour and orange zest and whisk until smooth.

Whisk about a cup of hot milk mixture into the egg mixture to warm it and the pour it all back into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Continue to cook mixture, whisking continuously, until the cream coats a spoon, which it will do at about 190F. (If you cook it to boiling, 212F, the pastry cream will be watery and lumpy.)

Pour the cream into a bowl and place it in a larger bowl of ice water to cool it as quickly as possible. Pastry cream can be refrigerated for 2 days.

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.

When choosing chocolate, look for a shiny finish, which is a sign that the chocolate was heated at the right temperature for the right amount of time. Also, look for a crispy snap when chocolate is broken into pieces. Choose a good chocolate source for sauce like Lindt, Callebaut, or Scharffen Berger. In a pinch, chocolate chips will do. This very decadent sauce is ideal served with fresh strawberries. Note: this chocolate sauce recipe is not ideal for coating dipped strawberries. That’s another post.

Croquuembouche drizzled with Chocolate Sauce

Croquuembouche drizzled with Chocolate Sauce

The Best Chocolate Sauce Recipe

by Chef George Hirsch

Makes about two cups

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

3 Tablespoons pure cane granulated sugar

3/4 cup cream

3 Tablespoons corn syrup

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Optional: 1 Tablespoon Brandy or Grand Marnier Place chopped chocolate in a bowl and set aside.

Place cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a small pot. Heat to a boil stirring constantly. As soon as it reaches a boil pour directly over chocolate and stir until all chocolate has melted. Add vanilla and brandy.

Use immediately or cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks. To reheat, heat the amount you need over a double boiler and stir until just melted.

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Fall Weekend Tailgate

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

Tune-in GHL CreateTV Sat Sept 29th 6:30AM/6:30PM Sun Sept 30th 12:30PM

Saying goodbye summer and welcoming “slow and low cooking” during Fall.

Forget the brats and sausages this weekend. Let's cook-up a dish..I'm talking a hearty, meaty dish with a spicy-kick that melts in your mouth and warms you up before the game. Here's one of my favorites. You can make it ahead of the tailgate. Try my Faux Pressure-Cooked Chili Recipe. In less than a couple hours, you'll be enjoying the warming comfort of the best chili that will keep you satisfied well past half-time. Don't forget- bring the toppings!

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We have made the move from picnics to tailgates. Now that the season is in ful swing, here’s a great do ahead chili. The flavors only get better the next day. Tailgate season is in full swing

A favorite crowd pleaser is using whole meat as opposed to chop meat in a chili. There’s more to chew on, so to speak. However the real results achieved is the flavor and texture in this dish. I use a combo beef and pork version for the ultimate pleasure.

This recipe cooks quicker than just simmering on the stove. If you do not have a pressure cooker or slow cooker; none to fear. Use a cast iron pan such as Le Creuset.

Faux Pressure-Cooked Chili

Makes 8-10 servings 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

2 pounds Chuck roast 

2 pounds Boneless country-style pork ribs

Olive oil as need to sear meat

4 Tablespoons ground cumin

4 dried chilis, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 onion, quartered

6 cloves garlic, halved

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

2 1/2 cups chicken or beef broth

Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork in the hot oil until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Repeat by searing the beef.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Add pork back into pan with beef, along with the 4 Tablespoons cumin, dried chilis, quartered onion, garlic halves, and jalapeno pepper. Add broth, cover with a tight lid, and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours. If you do not have a very tight lid, cover with foil and then place the lid over foil. Do not open oven or peek inside the pan for 1 1/2 hours. 

Remove meat from oven, Do Not remove cover. Allow to cool for thirty minutes.

Prepare sauce to add to meat. 

For the Sauce & Finishing:

1 Tablespoon each oregano, cumin, chili powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups crushed tomatoes

2 can pinto or red beans, rinsed

2 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, melted

In a sauce pan heat olive oil, onions, garlic and cook until tender but do not brown. Add toasted spices and add tomatoes, chocolate and beans. Lower temperature and simmer for thirty minutes while meat is resting. 

After thirty minutes, remove cover from meat and pour juices into sauce. Shred meat finely with two forks. Pour sauce into meat and cook an additional 1 to 1 1/2 hours to allow sauce and meat to blend. 

Note:

Bring out the flavor by slow-toasting spices by slowly toasting powdered spices in a dry skillet over low heat before adding them to the chili. 

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