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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Gazpacho as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

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This time of year is perfect to dream about those farm fresh veggies. But don’t just dream, enjoy one of my favorite refreshing soups anytime!  

 on location Seps Farm East Marion, NY from  George Hirsch Lifestyle

on location Seps Farm East Marion, NY from George Hirsch Lifestyle

I also call Gazpacho "liquid salad" — for obvious reasons. Its origin and roots go back to ancient times in Andalusia Spain; with a version of the recipe believed to be concocted as a re-energizing dish for Roman workers building roads in early 2nd century Spain. Traditionally, gazpacho recipes include stale bread, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, and a touch of vinegar. 

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Gazpacho aka Liquid Salad

Makes four servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV  

1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped very fine

4 cups low sodium tomato juice + Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup each sweet red + yellow pepper, chopped very fine

1/4 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped fine

4 cloves garlic, fine chop

1/4 cup scallion, fine chop

1/2 cup cucumber; peeled and seeded, chopped very fine

1 Tablespoon cilantro + 1/4 each teaspoon hot sauce, cumin, sea salt + fresh ground black pepper 

1/2 cup stale bread, toasted and chopped fine

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar 

Optional: 1 fresh gherkin cut into four wedges and a spring on dill to garnish. Or, marinate very fresh scallops or shrimp in tequila & hot sauce--top mugs ceviche style. 

*In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and chill for two hours before serving. 

My recipe will give your knife skills a work out. Feel free to use a blender. Keep in mind the manual chopping of the vegetables will preserve the flavor. 

*Tip: Be aware, using a food processor or blender actually cooks the veggies with the friction, in turn, changing the natural uncooked flavor, which is the true essence of this dish. There are many versions of gazpacho, but I prefer this one without any meat broth, keeping it true to its veggie roots, and finishing it off with a drizzle of a good olive oil.  

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Chocolate Pound Cake

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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

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

 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.

Cedar Planked

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Can late summer get boring with another burger on the grill. You bet! So, it's time to change it up. 

You are going to need cedar planks for today's fish recipe. I am encouraging you to step outside + grill with this recipe. Soak planks for 30 minutes 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 smokey flavor with more flair and a lot less hassle as you grill. The plank will be charred, but the fish will be perfectly cooked. This technique of cooking on planks is not new. The Indians in the Pacific Northwest cooked on cedar and alder, a tradition done for many centuries.

This weekend when you are running errands, head to the hardware store and pick up some cedar planks. Oh- be sure they are untreated non-resined wood, no thicker than 1 inch. Cedar and alder are popular choices, but mesquite, cherry, peach, apple, and oak also add their own unique flavors. Just give it a try and have a good time. Enjoy.

Cedar Plank Fish

makes two servings

chefgeorgehirsch.comGeorge Hirsch Lifestyle

1 cedar plank

Two 10-ounce salmon, trout or halibut fillets

juice of one fresh lemon

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons maple syrup

3 tablespoons olive oil

Fresh ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons butter

Soak plank in water to cover 1 hour; drain.

Pre heat Grill to high.

Rub plank with one tablespoon olive oil. Place fillets on plank; season with pepper, parsley, syrup and lemon juice. Top with remaining olive oil.

Grill 10-14 minutes or until fish is cooked. The thickness of the fillets will determine final cooking time.

Prior to serving top with fresh butter and serve with extra fresh lemon slices.

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Melanzane al Pomodoro

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

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Cooking Melanzane al Pomodoro is perfect this time of year when farms are abundant with eggplant and tomatoes. My Eggplant Sauce recipe is without a meat/protein in the ingredients, but feel free to add grilled sausage, chicken, or shrimp if desired. If you are looking for that under thirty minutes to-cook-to-table dish without compromising flavor for time, this is it. And, you can create variations on this recipe, which is very easy to do. 

This pasta sauce is great served warm or chilled added with a tube shaped pasta.

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George's Eggplant Sauce

Makes 4 servings 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | from George Hirsch Living it UP! Cookbook

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups eggplant, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

8 cloves garlic, chopped

6 plum tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup pitted calamata olives, chopped

1/2 cup white whine

1 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano, thyme, hot pepper flakes

2 Tablespoons pine nuts

2 Tablespoons fresh basil

parmesan cheese to taste and fresh black pepper

Preheat a large nonstick saucepan.  

Add half the olive oil; then eggplant, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and bell pepper.  Cook until light brown.  Add the wine, chicken broth, olives, dried basil, oregano, thyme and hot sauce.  Cook for 10 to 12 minutes.

Top with remaining olive oil, fresh basil and pine nuts.

Excellent with a rigatoni or tube shape pasta.