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Layering with Seasoning, Salmon 2 Ways 

Captain Pete's Custom Built Hot Smoker, from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series

Watch George Hirsch Lifestyle Tuesday, November 4th 7:30AM and 1:30PM EST on Create TV to catch Captain Pete's secret recipe for THE best cold smoked salmon I have ever tasted! And, I'll step up with my hot smoked cedar planked salmon. My recipe is not a secret and I'm happy to share.

Captain Pete removes smoked salmon on George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series

Making a hot smoked for the holidays is a nice way to wow guests, and take the pressure off the turkey!  

Click here for my Cedar Planked Salmon 

Smoked Salmon Two Ways, from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series


Nana’s Meatballs as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle TV Series

Tune in and DVR Create TV Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30AM & 1:30PM EST. Plus, check local listings on your PBS and PublicTV stations for additional dates and time.

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On Thursday November 6th on Create TV George Hirsch Lifestyle episode Food is Art is inspiration for creating a traditional Italian menu. I prepare Fresh Herb Frittata, pasta with quick Marinara, share my Nana’s Meatballs recipe—fit for any family gathering, and Biscotti

Chef George prepares Nana's Meatballs on George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series 

George's Nana’s Meatballs

Makes 12 Jumbo, 24 large or 40 mini meatballs

From George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series | chefgeorgehirsch.com 

3 pounds ground beef, 80 / 20 blend; can use combo of beef, pork, and veal

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 sweet onion, chopped fine

2 eggs, cracked and beaten

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 cups day old Italian bread, pulsed into crumbs

1/2 cup chicken broth, to soften bread crumbs (variable amount may have to add more broth just to soften crumbs) 

Fresh ground black pepper

* Note all ingredients should be very cold before blending. 

In a mixer or by hand mix all ingredients until well blended. Dip hands in ice water before shaping into round balls.

Spray an oven-roasting pan with grease spray.

Use an ice cream and scoop up meatballs; roll by hand until they are shaped round. Do not over handle as to not over warm up meat. Repeat until all meat is used up. Do not over crowd meatballs to make it easier to move them while baking. 

Refrigerate meatballs for at least 30 minutes to chill. Prepare Tomato Sauce below.

Pre heat a large heavy gauge sauté pan to high heat, or if making a large quantity of meatballs brown in a hot oven at 425 degrees F. 

Roast meatballs for five minutes in oven or on stovetop just until they begin to brown. If roasting gently shake pan to move meatballs to turn over, or use a spatula for meatballs if browning in sauté pan. Continue cooking for a few additional minutes (or less if mini) or until meatballs are brown on the outside. Meatballs will not be fully cooked and will continue to cook in tomato sauce. 

Remove meatballs with a spatula and add to gently simmering sauce and continue cooking for 20-30 minutes. 

For the Tomato Sauce:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 

1/2 cup minced sweet onion

6 cloves garlic, minced 

2 (28 ounce) cans crushed San Marzano Tomatoes

2 (6.5 ounce) cans tomato sauce

1 Tablespoon dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Fresh ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons each fresh chopped parsley and basil

In a large saucepot sauté add olive oil, onion, and garlic over medium heat until light brown. Stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season with dried basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, pepper, and half of the parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked browned meatballs and top with fresh chopped parsley and basil before serving. 

Nana's Meatballs as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle


All Natural Cupcake

Who doesn't like a cupcake? With summer family reunions, BBQs, and birthday parties—why not make a homemade dozen rather than buying store bought version, sans the preservatives. Here's my crowd pleasing recipe for traditional vanilla cupcakes and a choice of vanilla or chocolate icings. I've been told my cupcakes go toe to toe with Magnolia Bakery.


Vanilla Cupcakes 

Recipe by George Hirsch | Makes about 2 dozen 

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter on medium speed until smooth. Scrape bowl, add the sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 

Add the eggs in three stages one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three stages, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over mix. Scrape down the bowl after each addition to make sure the ingredients are well blended. 

Fill cupcake liners approximately three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in the muffin pans for 5 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing. 

Ice the cupcakes with either Vanilla Icing or Chocolate Icing

image: David Smith 

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