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Tuesday
Apr142015

Blue Food 

With just 80 delicious calories per cup and virtually no fat, blueberries offer us many important nutritional health benefits. 

Blueberries are an excellent source of dietary fiber, and possess antioxidant properties as well. These important antioxidants help neutralize free radicals can prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's. 

Blueberries are also high in Vitamin C. In fact, a serving contains about 14 mg or almost 25% of daily requirement for Vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for the formation of collagen and to maintain healthy gums and capillaries. It also aids in the absorption of iron and promotes a healthy immune system.

There are many ways to incorporate blueberries into your diet with a healthy breakfast including a parfait of blueberries, yogurt and granola.

Blueberries are also an excellent way to add sweet and tart flavor to pork, poultry or fish with sauces, salsas and chutneys. Simply simmer blueberries with balsamic vinegar, sweet onion, garlic and peppers. 

Create desserts with blueberry toppings with cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, and mint. Garnish desserts topping off with fresh blueberries like a Creamy Rice Pudding from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series.  

And a few fun facts:

The blueberry is the official state fruit of New Jersey.

There are only three fruits native to North America; blueberries, cranberries and Concord grapes.

The blueberry muffin is the most popular muffin in the U.S.

 

Monday
Apr132015

Ramping Up!

Ramp is one of the first green veggies to sprout-up in springtime. It is aka wild leek or spring onion; fitting, since it adds a sweet onion + bit of garlicky flavor to a variety of dishes. Add ramps to pep-up a dish; ideal for soups, eggs, potatoes, and seafood. One of my favorite ways to prepare ramp is grilled, which brings out its natural sweetness. Ideal served atop a grilled pizza.  

The how-to is simple; Grilled Ramp: After cutting off stem-end, wash whole ramps and dry. Drizzle olive oil over the white and greens, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill on a high heat until lightly charred. Cool, then place on pizza before baking as you would add any topping. 

Top my easy Nann style flatbread pizza recipe with grilled ramps, or add as a topping to my flatbread pizzas as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series.

Grilled Three-Cheese Naan Pizza

Makes four appetizer servings
 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | adaprted from Grilling with Chef George Hirsch cookbook.

1 pre-baked Naan Bread Crust
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1/2 cup goat cheese or feta
6 fresh basil leaves, lightly torn
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Pre heat grill to medium or an oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush Naan on both sides with olive oil. Top Naan on one side with cheeses leaving a half-inch border around crust. Place Naan on grill top shelf or bake on a pizza pan for about five minutes until crust is crisp and cheese is melted. Remove top with fresh basil and pepper, serve immediately.

Thursday
Apr092015

George Hirsch’s Cedar Plank Salmon


Having cooked outdoors with cedar plank on George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series and on many live TV shows, it's fool proof and quite impressive for entertaining; and as I say at the end of my show.."If I can do it You can do It!"

Over the past twenty years I've intoduced the age old art of hot smoking on wood planks in my TV shows and cookbooks. However, this technique of cooking on planks is far from new. The Indians in the Pacific Northwest cooked on cedar and alder, a tradition done for many centuries, as all cooking on an open fire. Once you try it yourself you'll see why.

Planked Salmon as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle TV Series

Chef George’s Cedar Plank Salmon

Makes four servings 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series

*1 cedar plank

One 1 1/2 pound salmon fillets

Juice of one fresh lemon

1 teaspoon each: thyme, rosemary, paprika, black pepper

3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 lemon, sliced  

Soak plank in water to cover 2 hours; drain.

Pre heat Grill to high.

Rub plank with one-tablespoon olive oil.

Place fillets on plank; season with thyme, rosemary, paprika, black pepper, dill, lemon juice. Top with remaining olive oil.

Grill 10-14 minutes on a covered grill for optimum smoke or until fish is cooked. The thickness of the fillets will determine final cooking time.

Prior to serving top with fresh dill butter and serve with extra fresh lemon slices, or grill lemon slices along with salmon.

Tips:

*Soak planks for at least 2 hours or more  in cold water before you fire-up the grill.

Make sure the grill is good and hot, this is key! Grilled cedar planked fish takes on a wonderful smoky flavor. The plank will be charred, but the fish will be perfectly cooked. When opening grill if planks should fare up spray plank with water to dose flame and immdiatly close grill cover to reduce oxygen.

Note: Cedar plank should be untreated non-resin wood, no thicker than 1 inch.

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