Brooklyn Crafted

The butcher block is crafted from Brooklyn, not the brownies. 

George's Double Chocolate Brownies on Brooklyn Butcher Block

Nils is is the craftsman or artisan “maker” behind his custom woodwork from Brooklyn Butcher Blocks. I have been proud to use his wood butcher blocks on George Hirsch Lifestyle and carry them with me on other appearances such as The Today Show and Fox and Friends. Visit Nils’s website and order your custom block today. His passion shows is in every project, tell him George sent you!

An often requested recipe from George Hirsch Lifestyle, it is ideal for every occasion. Enjoy as is or upgrade by topping with your favorite ice cream. The brownie derives its character from a deep rich cocoa base for the chocolate flavor.

George’s Double Chocolate Brownies

Makes 12-18 Brownies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound (2 sticks) sweet butter, softened at room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts

1 1/2 cups semisweet chopped chocolate pieces; or chocolate, or butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Grease and flour an 8 x 12 x 2 inch-baking pan.

In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt well. Set aside.

Cream butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add granulated sugar, cream on high speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. 

On a low speed add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, stopping machine to scrape down the bowl well after each addition. On a low speed add flour and cocoa powder to the butter mixture and mix just until flour is absorbed. Do not over mix. 

By hand, fold the pecans and chocolate in with a rubber spatula.

Optional: if using coconut; mix 3/4 of coconut with pecans and chocolate. 

Using a spatula, spread the batter into baking pan making sure the batter is spread evenly and smooth. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Caution to not over bake. Brownies are baked when pressed cakes springs back when pressed lightly with your finger or a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 2 hours and cut the brownies into rectangle or square pieces.

Frankfurter Wurstchen

My number one pick for a hot dog was found in a German rathskeller. A "Frankfurter Wurstchen" (Frankfurter Sausage) is a thin smoked then boiled sausage, made from pure pork meat in a sheep's casing. Traditionally, it's served very simply, on a plate with hearty brown bread, mustard and sometimes horseradish. You know it's great sausage when a frank can be served solo without a pile of toppings to drown out the taste. The name "Frankfurter Wurstchen" is protected in Germany, since 1860, as a denomination of geographical origin and may only be used for sausages from the region around Frankfurt am Main, aka just Frankfurt. BTW, this sausage has been around since the 13th century Frankfurt.

Here in the US there are so many brands of packaged hotdogs in varieties made from beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and let's not forget soy. I have found in the US that most local butchers carry 'frankly' a better quality wiener and are even better when they make their own signature links. A good example of a German style butcher frankfurter done well in the US is Forest Pork Store in Huntington LI; which is as close to an authentic "Frankfurter Wurstchen" as you can get on these shores. 

However, if you are in a pinch and your butcher is closed, then follow my top criteria for packaged hotdogs.  You want to taste the meat and not the fillers, check the ingredient label and avoid fillers and other ingredients that contain non-food listings you've never heard of. Hebrew National makes an all natural promise - no fillers or by products, no artificial flavors or colors and comes close to fulfilling that statement. 

If at home and grillin' "Frankfurter Wurstchen"— I use New York's Citarella brand; it's an all beef smoked hot dog — just about the best of the wurst between a bun. This frankfurter has just the right amount of snap, with meaty flavor with zero aftertaste. Grill them just right and top with a spicy mustard and kraut too! 

As I mentioned before, in Germany the frank is served solo with dipping mustard on the side, a sure sign it's something good. It makes you wonder why in the US everything from kraut, onions, chili, pickles, relish, salsa, tapenade, and faux cheese toppings makes it's way to top off a hotdog? That's got to be the reason we are not allowed to call it "Frankfurter Wurstchen".  

George’s Homemade kitchen Christmas Pick 5

inspirations are opportunities to try something new...

Taste-fully giving gifts and warming recipes for entertaining this holiday!

Enjoy my Bologna Inspired  Tortellini Basil Soup with warm Biscuits and a crisp Fennel & Green Bean Salad.

Holiday on the Cutting Edge

Need a gift inspiration this holiday?

I’ve used Mercer’s knives for almost thirty years; they were the knives I choose for my culinary students back then because they deserved the best. This is quality that lasts a lifetime and I am proud to have Mercer Cutlery partner with me for my cooking and lifestyle series on public television. You may even say I am living on the cutting edge!  

Once you have a good knife, sharpen your knife skills by chopping veggies for my warm and comforting Tuscan Artichoke Soup.  

To learn more about Mercer Cutlery.

Pampered Cows

It's no secret how much fondness I hold for my friends in Ireland as they are truly one of the most friendly and hospitable people on earth. I actually think the phrase tender loving care was born there. Here's proof, in this TV ad from KerryGold.

Kerrygold's  slogan is "The Best By A Country Kilometer", and they are spot on. 

Dubliner Cheese: Once you try it, you'll be hooked. I am. It was first described to me as a mixture between Cheddar and Parmigiano Reggiano. This description is quite accurate. Dubliner tastes of a mature Cheddar with the sweet aftertaste of Reggiano. Created by the Irish company Kerrygold and named after Ireland’s capital city, this cheese shares traits with several well-known cheeses but the combination creates a flavor that is completely unique. 

Note: Serve alongside a full-bodied Cabernet, a freshly pulled pint of Guinness, or simply melted between a few slices of crusty brown bread.