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Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

If you are planning to entertain this week or happen to be traveling to visit friends - I have the perfect thing to bring along or serve for dessert. I created this recipe knowing it would be one of those cakes that gets better with age; meaning, it tastes even better the day after it is baked.

Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

Makes one large loaf, or three demi-loaves

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle 

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup sweet butter, softened

1 1/2 cups (15 oz container) fresh whole-milk ricotta, drained

1 1/2 cups Turbino or granulated sugar

3 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Grease and flour 9-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, cream butter, and sugar until smooth and light. Fold in ricotta in three parts. Scrape bowl well with a spatula. Mix dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter and sugar and mix just until flour is absorbed with eggs one at a time, scraping sides of bowl after each addition. Add lemon juice and vanilla. 

Scrape down sides of the bowl, mix on low speed, 30 seconds just until batter is completely mixed. Do not over mix. Over mixing will toughen cake and produce air pockets. Pour the batter into greased pan and smooth on top. Once pan is filled with batter, tap pan against table or counter to remove air pockets.

Bake for 45-55 minutes. After 40 minutes, lower to 325 degrees until done. Allow cake to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes. Remove from pan; finish cooling on wire rack. Top with confectioner’s sugar before serving.




Masters' Pimento-Cheese Sandwich

The pimento cheese sandwich is to The Masters Tournament (begins April 6th - Sunday April 12th in Augusta, GA) - as a good BBQ slider would be at a Super Bowl weekend tailgate. There are many stories claiming the sandwich's origin (not sure which one to believe) and there are many versions of this recipe (I have my own). BTW, you can get one at The Masters for the reasonable price tag of $1.50.

The Masters' pimento-cheese sandwich is a highly guarded secret recipe. I'm thinking the recipe might come with the green jacket though! If you are not in contention to receive the jacket this weekend you might want to watch comfortably at home with your own sandwich. 

To make six Pimento-Cheese Sandwiches, use whole wheat or white bread spread with pimento-cheese filling.

Blend all ingredients in a food processor, 1/4 cup each shredded extra-sharp cheddar yellow cheese, Monterey jack cheese, softened cream cheese, drained jarred pimento, 1 Tablespoon Duke's Mayonnaise. Add a pinch of sea salt, pepper and a dash of hot pepper sauce. 

Optional additions: chopped hard boiled eggs, sliced vidalia onions, watercress


Know Your Fire: Asian-Style Tuna Burger

Hamburger is the most popular food for the grill, followed by steak and chicken. Did you know — one out of every five times Americans fire-up the grill, it's to cook a hamburger? A burger does not have to be all beef, such as my crowd pleasing and winning The George Burger. But what if you don't feel beefy today? Solution, try a meaty tuna burger. It's delicious, lean and good for you too. Top of with wasabi dressing and you are off to a hot start for the weekend. 

George's Tuna Burger
Makes 4 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna, either yellowfin, blue, or ahi
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 marinade recipe
4 burger buns
1 bunch arugula, washed and dried

For Asian Style Marinade
Makes 1 cup

2 fresh limes
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons ginger, chopped fine
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh Cilantro, chopped

Cut the zest from the limes. Place the limes on a cutting board and firmly roll them back and forth with the palm of your hand to loosen the juice. Cut the limes in half and squeeze out the juice. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice with the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Cut the tuna into 1-inch pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Using an on-off motion, grind the tuna for 45 to 60 seconds, or until it is chopped but not pureed. Over processing the tuna will make it warm.

Transfer the tuna to a bowl, stir in the egg whites, and mix well. Add the cilantro, lime zest, hot sauce and mustard. Blend well. Shape the tuna mixture into four burgers. Place them in the marinade and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.

Place the burgers on a preheated hot grill and cook them 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until rare or medium rare. Over cooking the burgers will dry them out. Place the burgers on a bun and serve on a bed of arugula.