Pumpkin Risotto

by Chef Elizabeth Whitt

Serves 8

1 onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, divided
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups Arborio rice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
5-6 cups chicken broth
1 small baking pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-2 inch pieces
1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino
1/4 cup cream (optional)

Heat broth in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, add pumpkin or butternut squash and a few pinches of salt, turn off heat and let sit until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove squash with a slotted spoon and set aside until rice is done. Heat a 4-to-5-quart saucepan over medium heat and add onion and 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.  When onion is tender, add the rice and cook stirring frequently for about 1 minute, to coat the grains of rice. Add the wine and begin adding broth 1-2 cups at a time and continue to stir often. Your liquid should be at a constant simmer so adjust your stirring or your heat to achieve tiny bubbles. Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid add more.  Begin tasting the risotto after you have added half of the broth. When it is cooked it should be tender but not mushy. Continue adding broth until it has reached correct consistency, about 20 minutes.  Add cheese, cream and 1 tbsp. butter and stir until combined.  Fold in squash, check for seasoning and serve.

Oven Baked Method: Heat a large oven safe skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Add oil, onion, salt and pepper and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice, more salt, white wine, cubed but uncooked butternut squash and 4 cups chicken broth and stir until combined. Bring broth to a boil, cover and bake in oven at 400 until rice is done, about 15-25 minutes. Check cooking after 15 minutes and add more broth if needed. When rice is just or almost done, add in cheese, butter and cream if desired and let rest 10 minutes and serve.

Thai-Style Carrot Soup with Chrysanthemum Leaves

Melissa's World Variety Produce Yields 8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped unpeeled fresh ginger
3½ cups fat-free, low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup light coconut milk
1/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup
2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon Asian (roasted) sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chrysanthemum leaves

In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and ginger; cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the broth, coconut milk, evaporated milk, lime juice, peanut butter, syrup, vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil, coriander, turmeric, and chile flakes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the carrots are very tender. Remove from the heat.

Using a ladle, remove 1 cup of the broth and set aside. Process the remaining soup in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth; hold the lid down with a potholder if using a blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, stir in all or some of the reserved broth.

If making it ahead, refrigerate, covered, for up to 24 hours. Gently simmer on low heat until reheated. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish each serving with chopped chrysanthemum leaves.

Meatless Alternative: Omit the fish sauce and substitute soy sauce.

Oysters Rockefeller

Antoine’s guards their recipe very closely. It definitely does not contain spinach or bacon, but is said to contain parsley, celery and scallions.

Tom Fitzmorris Replica Recipe

Antonie's Oysters Rockefeller RecipeMr. Fitzmorris says it took him about 50 tries to match the flavor of Antoine’s recipe. So if you want to give it a try, I’d say he saved you a good deal of time and expense.

  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup scallion tops,chopped
  • 2 cups parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh fennel, chopped (bulbs,stalks and/or fronds are fine)
  • 1 cup watercress, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 3 anchovy filets, rinsed and chopped
  • Liquor from 4 dozen oysters plus enough water to make 2 cups of liquid
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 drops green food coloring (Fitzmorris says this is optional, but authentic)
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup very fine fresh bread crumbs
  • 4 dozen oysters
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Combine the vegetables and anchovies in small batches, and process to a near puree in a food processor, using enough of the oyster liquor/water mixture to keep things moving.
  3. Combine the vegetable/anchovy mixture with the rest of the liquid in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring every now and then, until the excess water is gone, but the greens reman very moist. Add the sugar, ketchup, salt, white pepper, cayenne, Worchestershire, bitters and food coloring.
  4. Make a blond roux with the butter and flour. Blend well into the greens, until the sauce takes on a lighter texture. Mix in the bread crumbs.
  5. Place the fresh oysters into oyster shells, small ovenproof ramekins or gratin dishes. Top each oyster with a generous tablespoon (or more, if you like) of the sauce. Bake fifteen minutes, until the sauce barely begins to brown. Serve immediately.
    Note: If you bake the oysters on shells, serve on a bed of rock salt to keep the shells steady.

Yield: 4 Dozen

Bon Appetit!

From Hungry Town, A Culinary History of New Orleans by Tom Fitzmorris
Courtesy of Tom Fitzmorris

Potato Gnocchi

from Executive Chef Greg Harrison of the Five Crowns in Corona del Mar
Yields 6 portions

Large pot with 1 gallon boiling water
1 lb. russet potatoes
8 oz. all-purpose flour
¼ lb. rinsed and trimmed mushrooms
1 egg
Salt
Butter
1/3 c. vegetable or chicken stock

Boil potatoes (skin on) until fork tender.
Strain and peel potatoes with a towel.
Cool potatoes to room temperature.
Press potatoes through a ricer or break up with a potato masher.
Refill your pot with a gallon of water, add salt and bring water to a boil.
In a large bowl, mix the potatoes with oz. of flour and the whole egg.
Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated.
Use the remaining oz. to dust and clean dry work surface. Using a kitchen knife, portion the dough into 6 inch long strips and roll with your hands until as big around as a nickel.
Lay 3 rolled pieces next to each other and cut into
½ inch dumplings with a kitchen knife.

Maple Salmon

Maple SalmonRecipe courtesy of Wild Things Seafood
1 1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound Salmon fillets

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt and pepper
  3. Place a salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.
  4. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes or until easily flaked with a fork.