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Friday
Apr032015

Leg of Lamb, Spinach and Mint Sauce

 

My art is a smoke-blackened empire Athenaeus, Greek scholar c.200 A.D.

My travels to Greece have inspired this recipe. Tried and true - this open fire spit recipe is always a crowd pleaser and is one of my most requested dishes off the grill. The fire-smoke combo flavors the meat while it slowly caramelizes on the spit. Opa, happy Friday!

Leg of Lamb, Spinach and Mint Sauce Recipe
Makes 10-12 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle 

5-6 pound boneless leg of lamb, split
2 cups fresh spinach, cleaned
8 fresh mint leaves
1 head garlic, peeled
1/2 cup orange juice
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup red wine vinegar

Place fresh spinach, garlic, and mint leaves in a food processor or blender. 

Blend until leaves are small, add orange juice and vinegars.  Blend one minute or just until all ingredients are well mixed.  Place lamb in a large bowl, pour marinade over the lamb, cover, and refrigerate for 2 days, turning lamb twice a day.

Pre heat grill to high, or oven to 375 degrees.  Remove lamb from marinade, dry the surface of the meat with paper towels and grill or roast 30-40 minutes until the entire surface is nicely brown.  Use caution if grilling to cook on an indirect heat to avoid flare ups.  

Place marinade in a large braising pan and bring up to a rapid boil.  When meat is brown add meat to marinade, cover pan, lower temperature of grill to low or oven to 300 degrees and cook for 2 1/2 hours or until lamb is fork tender.   

When meat is cooked remove to a serving platter and allow to rest for thirty minutes prior to carving.  While meat is resting bring juices in braising pan to a boil and reduce the juices until it is all homogenized. Drizzle juices over sliced lamb and serve.

Thursday
Apr022015

Jack-n-Mac or Mac and Cheese ?

A pasta dish with so many names, its easily prepared either on your stove-top, and baked in the oven or grill. A perfect one-pot dish for almost any occasion, served straight from the sauce pan or guilded with a crusty topping. My spin on the classic is dressed up a bit for grown-up flavor and is just as welcomed for an elegant dinner or a casual backyard BBQ. Cheddar is the common cheese of choice, but I like using a mixture of cheddar and jack. Sometimes even a bit of Gruyere as well, to put a bit of bite in my baked mac; using a fifty-fifty cheese ratio. Feel free to use chef's poetic license and use more or less Cheddar if you like.

Cheddar Jack-n-Mac, as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle TV Series

George’s Cheddar Jack-n-Mac

Makes 6 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series 

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 teaspoon hot sauce

pinch fresh grated nutmeg

2 cups half & half

1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Jack cheese, shredded

2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

2 Tablespoons fresh italian parsley, chopped

1 1/2 pounds uncooked elbow, shells, or other small pasta

Melt Butter in a large soup pot or saucepan. Add onion, and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add the broth, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add the bay leaves, thyme, diced green chilies, hot sauce, and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Stir in the half & half and heat to a simmer. Slowly add the Cheddar, Jack, and Parmesan cheeses, stirring until they melt and the sauce is smooth. Stir in the cooked pasta. Place in a serving dish and eat immediately or sprinkle with Mac Topping, and bake five minutes in a 350 degree oven. 

Optional Additions:

1 cup each Chorizo or smoked sausage, chopped plum tomatoes, smoked ham, pancetta, pulled chicken or grilled shrimp to make your own home-spin.  

For the Mac Topping

4 Tablespoons butter, melted

6 Tablespoons bread crumbs

2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

1 Tablespoon each fresh cilantro & parsley, chopped

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

JACK-n-MAC SERVING SUGGESTION: Serve with my BBQ Sliders & Grilled BBQ Shrimp

 

Wednesday
Apr012015

Honey Glazed

Bake a Winner!

 

Ham cooking rule of thumb = 325 degrees F. at 25 minutes per pound or follow package instructions.

Estimate needing 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound of bone-in ham per person, or 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound of boneless ham.

Fully cooked hams can be served as is, but they'll taste better if glazed and roasted to an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.

George’s Honeyed Ham Glaze Recipe

Makes enough glaze for a medium size ham 

 chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestytle

1 cup honey
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon orange zest

Mix all ingredients together in small pot, bring up to a boil, then simmer for five minutes. Pour over ham as a glaze 15-20 minutes before removing from oven. Baste every five minutes, remove from oven and cool slightly. 


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