The George Burger

New season of GHL Celebrating Chef George's 25th anniversary on PBS and Public TV Stations. Check local listings. Click to watch TV Series Preview

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Tired of the same old beef patty? The next time you light up the grill, try my winning burger. A grilled Tuscan-style burger with caramelized onions and grilled pepper tomato marmalade topped with arugula Parmesan. And, don't forget my side of crisp kettle potato chips! 

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George Hirsch Tuscan Burger

The George Burger 

Makes 8, ¼ pound burgers

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1 1/2 pounds ground beef, short rib blend, 80/20 lean / fat ratio

½ pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Accompaniments: potato rolls, caramelized onion, arugula, Parmesan flakes

In a 2-quart mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix with a fork, taking care not to overwork the meat. Divide into 6 or 8 equal portions and form into 3/4 inch thick patties. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the burgers on a hot grill and cook about 3-4 minutes per side, turning once. 

Serve on lightly toasted potato rolls with caramelized onions and grilled pepper tomato marmalade. Top with arugula and Parmesan. 

Grilled Pepper Tomato Marmalade

Makes about 3 cups

1/2 Ounce portion per 3 ounce slider burger 

2 cups good quality ketchup, (not high fructose) 

2 Red peppers, split deseeded grilled and charred 

Cloves from 1 head Caramelized garlic

¼ cup Virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon hot sauce

Pulse all above, leaving slightly chunky and add to ketchup.  

Chef George’s Caramelized Onions

Preheat a nonstick saucepan to a medium heat.  Place 2 cups sliced onions in the pan and cover. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.  Stir and cover again.  Continue the process until the onions are a golden brown.  Remove the cover.  Cook off any excess moisture. Remove the onions from the pan and cool. 

Grilled Pepper Tomato Marmalade

Makes about 3 cups

1/2 Ounce portion per 3 ounce slider burger 2 cups good quality ketchup, (not high fructose) 2 Red peppers, split deseeded grilled and charred Cloves from 1 head Caramelized garlic, ¼ cup Virgin olive oil2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar1 teaspoon hot sauce

Pulse all above, leaving slightly chunky and add to ketchup.  

Orange Cranberry Buttermilk Muffins

New season of GHL Celebrating Chef George's 25th anniversary on PBS and Public TV Stations. Check local listings. Click to watch TV Series Preview

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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 

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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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Jack-n-Mac or Mac and Cheese ?

New season of GHL releasing Oct 1st. Celebrating Chef George's 25th anniversary on PBS and Public TV Stations. Check local listings. Click to watch TV Series Preview

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A pasta dish with so many names, its easily prepared either on your stove-top, and baked in the oven or grill. A perfect one-pot dish for almost any occasion, served straight from the sauce pan or guilded with a crusty topping. My spin on the classic is dressed up a bit for grown-up flavor and is just as welcomed for an elegant dinner or a casual backyard BBQ. Cheddar is the common cheese of choice, but I like using a mixture of cheddar and jack. Sometimes even a bit of Gruyere as well, to put a bit of bite in my baked mac; using a fifty-fifty cheese ratio. Feel free to use chef's poetic license and use more or less Cheddar if you like.

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JACK-n-MAC SERVING SUGGESTION: Serve with my BBQ Sliders & Grilled BBQ Shrimp

George’s Cheddar Jack-n-Mac

Makes 6 servings

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2 Tablespoons Butter

1 onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 teaspoon hot sauce

pinch fresh grated nutmeg

2 cups half & half

1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Jack cheese, shredded

2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

2 Tablespoons fresh italian parsley, chopped

1 1/2 pounds uncooked elbow, shells, or other small pasta

Melt Butter in a large soup pot or saucepan. Add onion, and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add the broth, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add the bay leaves, thyme, diced green chilies, hot sauce, and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Stir in the half & half and heat to a simmer. Slowly add the Cheddar, Jack, and Parmesan cheeses, stirring until they melt and the sauce is smooth. Stir in the cooked pasta. Place in a serving dish and eat immediately or sprinkle with Mac Topping, and bake five minutes in a 350 degree oven. 

Optional Additions:

1 cup each Chorizo or smoked sausage, chopped plum tomatoes, smoked ham, pancetta, pulled chicken or grilled shrimp to make your own home-spin.  

For the Mac Topping

4 Tablespoons butter, melted

6 Tablespoons bread crumbs

2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

1 Tablespoon each fresh cilantro & parsley, chopped

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

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GEORGE HIRSCH’S SLOPPY GIUSEPPE BURGER

A holiday weekend call for a burger, but not just any burger. Grilled slider served on a potato roll, with pickled bourbon peppers, an Italian style sweet sloppy Joe sauce, topped with crisp sriracha slaw with farm fresh veggies and a side of garlic kettle chips. 

George's SLOPPY GIUSEPPE a winning combination

Grilling a winning burger from the bun up takes time and the freshest farm picked ingredients. For my SLOPPY GIUSEPPE, the peppers were farm picked and pickled the same day, two months ahead of adding to my burger. I used a colorful mix of vine ripen sweet and hot peppers, and the vinegary brine was topped off with bourbon for added zip. The Sloppy Sauce is a homemade sweetened Italian tomato sauce, and the slaw—a mixture of crunch tossed at the last moment in a creamy sriracha dressing. With no compromise to the meat tossed on the grill, my signature special meat blend, and the only bun of distinction worthy for such honest “sloppy goodness’ is soft potato roll.   

GEORGE HIRSCH’S SLOPPY GIUSEPPE BURGER

Makes 8, quarter pound burgers.

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*weight before cooking

1 3/4 pounds ground beef, short rib blend, 80/20 lean / fat ratio

3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Accompaniments: Potato Rolls, mix of sweet & hot vinegar peppers, sloppy sauce, sriracha slaw, 

In a 2-quart mixing bowl, combine beef and sausage meat and mix with a fork, taking care not to overwork the meat. Divide into 8 or 10 equal portions and form into 3/4 inch thick patties. Use raw meat from two of the above formed burgers for sloppy sauce. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Sloppy Sauce

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Makes about 2 Quarts, or enough topping for 16 SLOPPY GIUSEPPE burgers.

2 Tablespoons Olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onions, sweet red peppers

8 cloves fresh garlic, chopped fine

1 15 ounce can each Tomato Sauce & Tomato Puree

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

1 pint of IPA

1 teaspoon each dried basil and oregano

2 bay leaves

2 cups water

Pre heat a saucepot to medium temperature. Add olive oil and two burger patties browning lightly; add onions, peppers, and garlic. Cook for two additional minutes, do not brown vegetables. Add all remaining ingredients using water to rinse out any additional tomato sauce left in cans. Simmer for 45 minutes. Keep warm until topping burgers. 

For Slaw & Dressing as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

Vegetables: 1 small head shredded white cabbage, one 1/2 head shredded red cabbage, 2 grated carrots, 1/4 of a sweet thinly sliced onion, 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, and 3 chopped green onions. Mix 2 cups mayonnaise, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce, 1/4 cup sriracha, 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, pepper and sea salt to taste. Add dressing to slaw thirty minutes before serving. 

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the burgers on a hot grill and cook about 3-4 minutes per side, turning once. 

Serve on lightly toasted Martin’s Potato Rolls, first peppers, burger, sloppy sauce, and slaw. Serve extra Sloppy Sauce on side with plenty of napkins. 

Note: If you don’t see ground short rib beef in your butcher shop, by all means ask for it. Whenever you’re mixing any ground meat product, it’s a good practice to have the meat and bowl well chilled. Not only will a chilled bowl cut down on bacterial growth, it will help bind the meat. If possible, use a metal bowl for mixing the ingredients and place it in the freezer beforehand. If your kitchen is warm, place the bowl over a bowl of ice when you’re incorporating the meat with the spices.

Chocolate Pound Cake

This recipe is one of those cakes that gets better with age; meaning, it tastes even better the day after it is baked. You may not have access to Sag Harbor Rum for the simple syrup, so if you find yourself in a strange port use a good quality rum. 

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George Hirsch Chocolate Pound Cake, Sag Harbor Rum Syrup

Chocolate Pound Cake

Makes one loaf

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 1 1/2 cups cake flour  

1 teaspoon baking powder  

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sweet butter, room temperature

1 cup pure cane granulated sugar  

3 eggs, beaten 

1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon fine grated orange zest 

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder such as Droste

1/4 cupboiling hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Grease a loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl mix cocoa powder into boiling water until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In a separate bowl, mix cake flour with baking powder and salt.

On medium high speed, mix butter until softened, about 1 - 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. With the mixer on low add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after adding each egg. Add vanilla, orange zest, cocoa mixture. add the flour mixture and mix only until combined.  

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake on a center rack in oven for about 50 - 55 minutes or until done. To test doneness, cake will spring back when touched lightly with index finger.

Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Slice pound cake, serve soaked with rum simple syrup and with fresh whipped cream.

To make simple syrup:

1 cup water, 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup of Rum, 1 orange, cut into quarters

Place all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Remove and cool.