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Wednesday
Dec032014

Nougatkugeln

Aka the chocolate truffle, the bite-sized petit four is made from a creamy mixture of chocolate ganache, usually with butter and cream. However, this German version I've prepared below is with less fat in the recipe, but does not sacrifice the decadent chocolate flavor. As I've written prior, the quality of the truffle is primarily dependent on the quality of chocolate you start with. I can't stress this enough.

Nougatkugeln
Recipe by Chef George Hirsch | Makes about 35 truffles 

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
*2 Tablespoons espresso or strong brewed coffee, or as needed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup hazelnuts or almonds, lightly toasted & ground 

Optional filling: To make an all chocolate truffle: substitute 1 cup semisweet chocolate, ground medium-fine, for the hazelnuts.

Optional flavoring: Reduce espresso by 1 Tablespoon and substitute with 1 Tablespoon of Frangelico (halzelnut flavor liquor), or Grand Marnier (orange flavor liquor) 

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid over heating. As chocolate begins to melt, remove the bowl from the heat.

In a separate bowl, combine the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder with a wire whisk. Mix in espresso, vanilla, and nuts. Mixture should be slightly thick, add additional espresso if truffle mixture needs to be slightly smoother. 

Cool mixture slightly; and with a small scoop or by hand form small balls by shaping into 1/2- to 3/4-inch diameter balls. Dip the balls into the melted chocolate.  

Garniture: Place your coatings for the truffles on a plate and roll truffle balls in one of the following:
Toasted crushed nuts
Powdered sugar
Cocoa powder
Tempered chocolate striped over truffles
Coconut
Shaved chocolate

Chill until firm. Nougatkugeln is best when served at room temperature. 

Monday
Dec012014

as seen on Create TV, For The Love of Cheese

We Create, do You? 

from George Hirsch Lifestyle, For The Love of CheeseJoin me & my friends 4x weekly 
Tune-in/DVR #GHL Create TV 
Tuesdays & Thursdays 7:30AM & 1:30PM EST 
December 2nd it's For the Love of Cheese
If you Create, please Share!

You will be inspired with flavorful recipes and also by the most passionate people who craft each and everyday. I am so proud to share my friends with you.
My friends are artists, artisan crafters, bakers, builders, butchers, cheese makers, cheese mongers, chefs, crafters, craft-brewers, designers, farmers, fisherman, grillers & smokers, pastry chefs, pickers, small batch beverage makers, sommeliers, vintners, plus aspiring young growers!

Enjoy a lighter version of mashed potatoes by cooking with a flavorful addition of chicken broth and olive oil. By cutting out much of the heaviness of the dairy and adding chicken broth makes this do ahead recipe ideal for week night suppers and equally as good for weekend entertaining. 

from George Hirsch Lifestyle, episode for The Love of Cheese

Mousseline Potatoes 

From George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series | chefgeorgehirsch.com

makes 6 servings

10 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into small pieces

1 cup chicken broth, hot
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
6 cloves garlic, chopped fine

3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped

Optional: ¼ cup cooked and finely chopped ham or pancetta

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until very tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a separate small pot, add garlic to chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes to infuse garlic flavor into broth. Optional, strain off garlic.

Test tenderness of potatoes by slipping the point of a small knife into potato. The potatoes are done if the knife slips out easily. Drain water when potatoes are tender. After draining, return potatoes to the hot pot, add 2 Tablespoons olive oil, ½ cup chicken broth and begin to mash potatoes by hand or with an electric mixer. Add ¼ cup cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese. Mix in and add 2 more Tablespoons olive oil. Continue to mash until desired level of smoothness. Add remaining cheese, chives, black pepper and sea salt to taste.

If preparing potatoes ahead, cool and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Pre heat a broiler or oven to 450 degrees F. 

Grease an oven proof 9 x 9 casserole pan with olive oil. Add potatoes and spread out evenly leaving ridges on top. Top with an additional ¼ cup cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese and 2 Tablespoons olive oil. 

Place under broiler and heat until potatoes are bubbly and golden on top. If potatoes were made fresh and hot time will be approximately 3-5 minutes. If prepared ahead and potatoes are cold, baked for 20-25 minutes or until hot and golden on top.  

Optional servings suggestion: 

Upgrade potatoes from a savory side to a satisfying main dish by adding your own twist. Start by pacing seasoned cooked ground beef chili, pulled chicken, or braised vegetables in a oven proof casserole or ramekin. Top with the prepared potatoes for a British style shepard’s or cottage pie.

Sunday
Nov302014

Hot Chocolate Caramel 

Need to take the chill out? Homemade hot chocolate is everyone's favorite, even us big kids. This is my spin on hot chocolate and has put smiles on many faces. Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate Caramel

Hot Chocolate Caramel

Makes 6 servings | www.chefgeorgehirsch.com

1/3 cup pure cane granulated sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened good cocoa powder

1/3 cup water

8 caramel candies

6 cups milk (whole milk for best results)

mini marshmallows or whip cream

1 ounce brandy (optional)

In a large saucepan combine sugar, cocoa powder, and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add candies and stir until melted. Stir in milk. Heat through. Top with brandy. Pour into mug, top with mini marshmallows or whipped cream.


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