The Rooster's Beak

You must want to know why Pico de Gallo is referred to as the rooster's beak? It actually refers to the bite-size (beak-size) proportions of fresh tomatoes in this chunky salsa of Mexican origin. How about that! You may also be familiar with its other name, Salsa Fresca. 

The garden tomato bounty is here for a few more minutes, so this is an ideal week to make my pico de gallo from my own tomatoes and peppers. Serve Pico de Gallo with corn tortillas or my Cilantro Shrimp Nachos for más divertido!

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George Hirsch's Salsa Fresca

Makes 3 cups

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

8-10 San Marzano plum tomatoes, split de-seeded 

1 small sweet white onion, or sweet red onion + 1 green onion 

2 jalapeño peppers, split and de-seeded chopped (optional) 

1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber 

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce 

2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper, to taste 

Juice of two fresh limes

1 Tablespoon olive oil 

Cut all veggies into 1/4 inch size pieces. In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix and set aside one hour to allow flavors to develop. Serve room temperature.

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George's Smackin' Wings

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A classic Buffalo wing, which you know heralds from the city of the same name.. is tossed into a deep fryer, then tossed into melted butter and hot sauce or finished off in an infinite number of other side sauces and condiments. 

Now friends, my Smackin' Wings are a better wing for a couple reasons... First, it's grilled with benefits from the outdoor flavor of fire-n-smoke; and the sauce is sweet, allowing you to enjoy the chicken and the side sauce. 

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George's Smackin' Wings

Makes 32 pieces | from Grilling with Chef George Hirsch cookbook

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

16 chicken wings

1/2 cup olive 

1/4 balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup honey

2 teaspoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons cane syrup or dark corn syrup

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cut off and discard wings tips. Cut remaining wings in half. Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl until well blended, add wings. Cover and marinade in refrigerator 1 hour.

Preheat grill to medium temperature.  

Place wings on grill. Grill 15 to 20 minutes over medium coals, turning frequently. As wings begin to brown continue slowly cooking on indirect heat, until completely cooked.

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Divided BY Chowder

Celebrating Chef George's 25th Anniversary on PBS

If there is one thing I have learned as a chef there as many versions of chowder recipes as there are people who enjoy this soup, err..I mean stew..no I think soup?  

George Hirsch Chowder

Each of my cookbooks and TV series has a version of some sort of a chowder recipe. I have judged chowder contests, participated in chef chowder tastings, and been a referee at a few chowder-boxing matches. Well, not really, but people do get heated up over red or white chowder. 

What really is chowder? The word "chowder" comes from the French word chaudiere, or caldron, the vessel in which the dish was cooked. And, derives from the word "jowter," meaning fishmonger, a term that was used in 16th century coastal regions of England.

George Hirsch Seafood

Is it a soup or stew? Early versions of chowder simmered from the New England area and was basically a frugal recipe of pork fat, onions, potatoes, fish, herbs, dry biscuits or flour for thickening, layered in a pot and cooked in water, with a little milk added at the end. In the 1800’s the Manhattan clam chowder was notable because it contains tomatoes. James Beard described Manhattan clam chowder "that rather horrendous soup called Manhattan clam chowder resembles a vegetable soup that accidentally had some clams dumped into it." All respect Mr. Beard, but those are fighting words. As a New Yorker and from coastal Long Island, an East Ender we take our chowder VERY serious. See, how a discussion on chowder can turn into a sparring match.

Tomato-based clam chowders came about with the newfound popularity of the tomato in the mid-1800s with the large population of Italians and Portuguese in New York and Rhode Island region. Still, there is no chowder harmony. In 1939, Maine legislators introduced a bill outlawing the use of tomatoes in chowder because it is far more of a vegetable soup. What? 

I can end this entire soup divide right now. Aside from any vegetables, corn, chicken or other non-seafarer ingredient for the stew--here are three versions you can enjoy from my TV series and cookbooks. They have satisfied many and with hope can prevent a nation from future chowder conflict. 

Manhattan vs. New England Chowder N.E. not my fav..

Seafood Chowder Yes, now this is a stew!

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White Bean Casserole as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

Join me CreateTV George Hirsch Lifestyle Sat March 9th 6AM/6PM + Sun March 10 12PM

This easy to prepare hearty soup makes for a wonderful mid-week dinner or rustic weekend starter. I have even prepared gallons of this warming soup for tailgates. For a creamier soup, puree half.   

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White Bean Casserole

Makes 6 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.comGeorge Hirsch Lifestyle 

2 Tablespoons olive oil  

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped carrot

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped

1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes 

1 cup potatoes, peeled and chopped 

3 cups chicken broth 

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed 

3 links Italian or smoked sausage, pre-grilled and sliced  

2 cups Kale, washed, dried and chopped 

Fresh ground black pepper to taste 

Pre heat a large soup or sauce pot to a medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, hot pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are tender, do not brown. Add the potato, sausage, broth, beans and basil. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer, cover and cook about 30 minutes. 

Bring soup back to a boil, turn down to a simmer and add the kale. Cook until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add pepper to taste. 

For a creamier soup, pulse half of the soup or puree in a food processor. Bring soup back up to a boil until well blended. 

Optional Substitution for Kale: Spinach, Escarole, Swiss Chard, Broccoli Rabe

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