Orange Cranberry Buttermilk Muffins

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Here are a few fun facts about our native berry, the cranberry.

  • Dennis, Massachusetts was the site of the first recorded cranberry cultivation in 1816.

  • American recipes containing cranberries date from the early 18th Century.

  • Americans consume some 400 million pounds of cranberries each year. About 80 million pounds -- or 20 percent -- are gobbled up during Thanksgiving week.

  • Did you know that there are 440 cranberries in one pound? 4,400 cranberries in one gallon of juice? 440,000 cranberries in a 100-pound barrel?

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Orange Cranberry Buttermilk Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle 

For the Topping:

1/3 cup lite brown sugar

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Tablespoons nuts, walnuts or pecans, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

1 Tablespoon sweet butter

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nuts. Blend butter in with a fork until mixture is crumb like.

For the muffin mix:

4 Tablespoons sweet butter, melted

2 cups all-purpose flour; or 1 cup all purpose & 1 cup whole wheat flour

1 Tablespoon flour for coating plumped cranberries, plus greasing muffin cups

2/3 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

**2/3 cup dried cranberries, plumped 

1 large egg, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon grated orange zest

1/3 cup fresh orange juice

*2/3 cup buttermilk

*1/4 teaspoon white vinegar, for making regular whole milk into buttermilk.

Add white vinegar to milk to make the buttermilk. Allow to sit 5 minutes to sour. 

Grease a regular size 12-cup muffin pan with butter and dust with flour, tap out excess flour; or use muffin cups liners.

Place baking rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Note: If using a dark colored muffin pan, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Dark colored pans absorb more heat while baking in the oven and become hotter and carry heat faster than light colored pans. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and orange zest. 

Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined, about 10-12 strokes to moisten the flour mixture. The mixture will still have some lumps. Do not over mix or the muffins will become tough when baked. 

Toss plumped cranberries in a fine strainer with about one Tablespoon of flour to lightly coat. Using a rubber spatula, fold in a 1/2 cup of the cranberries. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, place batter into muffin cups filling each cup to three quarters full. Add remaining cranberries on top of muffins and divide crumb topping over muffins. 

Bake about 15-20 minutes, until muffins are golden brown. Check muffins half-way through and rotate muffin pan if oven temperature is uneven. Test donesness with a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin; or when touched lightly—the muffin should have a slight resistance to finger pressure.  

Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove muffins from pan. 

**To plump dried cranberries add 2 tablespoons of orange juice from recipe and heat in microwave for 30 seconds; drain orange juice back into pre measured 1/3 cup orange juice. 

 

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BBQ, Grilling + Bourbon Sauce

With Mother's Day this weekend, top off your favorite grilled meats this weekend with my Bourbon Sauce.  I dedicate this recipe to my friends in Kentucky; the inspiration for this recipe. I've used this as a great finishing sauce for most proteins; including beef, pork and chicken. Tip: use only the best bourbon!

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Be very careful saying BBQ when you should be saying grilling - especially in BBQ country.

BBQ: It's a science of cooking protein by indirect heat, with dedication. I emphasize the word dedication because there is NO speedy way to BBQ. Two words, low and slow. I spent many years teaching the art of heat and fire, and in this case Q. There really is so much to learn and each Q occasion is always an unique experience with many factors; like air temperature, humidity, moisture, wind, etc. One of the best ways to Know Your Fire is to experience it first hand. It's one of those things you intrinsically feel and only come to understand when you are in the fire pit - so to speak. I tip my hat to all pitmasters. 

Grilling: This is the way most people will cook with their backyard grill; grilling proteins such as burgers, steak, chicken, seafood, as well as veggies. This is the use of direct heat cooking at a higher temperature for shorter cooking times over the fire. Again, practice makes perfect, so there's no time like the present to learn or expand your current grilling skills. 

Bourbon Sauce

Makes 5 cups

chefgeorgehirsch.comGrilling with Chef George Hirsch cookbook 

1 cup Dijon Mustard

1 cup steak sauce

1 cup bourbon 

1 cup honey and 1 cup ketchup

1 Tablespoon orange zests

Juice of one lemon and one orange

In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients; simmer gently for 4-5 minutes. Serve with ribs, steak, or grilled meats.

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Mother's Day Waffles, Do It!

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

Join me multiple times weekly + 

Tune-in GHL CreateTV Wed 8:30AM/2:30PM, Sat 7AM/7PM, Sun 8:30AM/1PM EST

Celebrate Mom this weekend and say George sends his best to honor your Mom this Sunday and everyday! This is my most requested breakfast dish when family and friends stay over at my home. Share it with your mom for any occasion. Equally as good with my Oven Fried Garlic Chicken as seen on GHL TV.

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Steamy Belgium Waffles

8 waffles 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle 

2 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons Sugar

2 cups milk

1/3 butter, melted

2 cups flour

2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

1 Tablespoon baking powder

Preheat waffle maker. Put all ingredients, except egg whites, in a large mixer bowl. Beat on low until moistened. Increase to medium, mix until smooth. By hand, gently fold in beaten egg whites. Pour 1/2 cup batter over grids. Close waffle maker, bake until steam no longer escapes, about 3-5 minutes. Repeat. Serve while hot with your favorite topping.

Note: Serve with fresh fruit, maple syrup, whipped cream or ice cream.

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Cinco de Mayo Barbecue Burrito

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

Join me multiple times weekly + Tune-in GHL CreateTV this Sunday May 6th 8:30AM EST

A quick fix burrito, made even better with yesterdays leftover grilled chicken. And, what a great way to kick off grilling season! Although my grilled chicken burrito recipe is not traditional for Cinco de Mayo - you will still get rave reviews. I have.

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Chicken Barbecue Burrito

Barbecue Burrito

Makes 6 serving

From Grilling with Chef George Hirsch cookbook

2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken thighs

1/4 cup Barbecue Chicken Burrito Rub

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cups your favorite barbecue sauce

Twelve 10-inch flour tortillas

Season chicken with rub and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Pre heat grill to high.

Brush chicken with olive oil, place on grill and sear for 2 minutes on each side. Move the chicken to a cooler side of the grill and continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes longer. Remove the chicken from the grill and allow to cool for five minutes. Shred the meat, combine it with barbecue sauce in a small saucepan and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes on the grill or side burner.

To serve, place 3-4 Tablespoons of the chicken mixture in the center of each flour tortilla. Fold each side toward the center and roll up from the bottom. Place the burritos on a medium-hot grill and heat on both sides for a total of 1 to 2 minutes.

Chicken Burrito Rub

Makes 1/3 cup

1 Tablespoon each sweet paprika, oregano, black pepper, garlic powder, ground cumin, lemon zest

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Store in a tightly covered jar.

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