Show 47, November 9, 2013: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt

Elizabeth WhittChef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt is, fortunately, no stranger to the show. When Chef Jet has a culinary quandary he goes right to Chef Elizabeth. She is a Le Cordon Bleu, Paris trained chef with expertise in both hot foods and pastry. She lived in Paris for 12 years and is fluent in the language.

In this segment Elizabeth talked about pumpkin. Should it be fresh or can it be canned? Also, the step-by-step instructions for preparing and baking the perfect, classic pumpkin pie.

Chef Elizabeth has a great tip about when to use fresh pumpkin. If the recipe is half-pumpkin (as an ingredient total) then by all means use fresh.

Elizabeth has an “Appetizers and Hors D’oeuvres” class coming up on December 5th from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

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Show 47, November 9, 2013: Chef Instructor Elizabeth Whitt Continues…

Elizabeth WhittChef Elizabeth explained what dishes can be successfully prepared ahead to save time (and limited oven & burner space) on the big day.

Chef Elizabeth also provided her easy recipe for her favorite Thanksgiving side dish for her own Thanksgiving table which is Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

Chef Elizabeth’s Thanksgiving recipes, including “To Die for Green Beans with Creamy Mushroom Sauce,” are available at chefelizabeth.com. Look for the “Recipes” link.

Elizabeth has an “Appetizers and Hors D’oeuvres” class coming up on December 5th from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake by Chef Elizabeth Whittby Chef Elizabeth Whitt

Makes one 9 or 10 inch cheesecake or 1  9×13 dish

For Filling:
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin (canned or homemade see below)
1/4 sour cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
5 eggs

For crust:
10 whole graham crackers, crumbled
1/4 cup pecans
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp. melted butter

For Topping:
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup candied or regular pecans, chopped

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare crust in a food processor. Pulse graham crackers until crumbled evenly, then add nuts, sugar and salt and pulse a few times. Pour in melted butter slowly while pulsing. Transfer to a 9-inch spring form pan and evenly smooth crumb mixture, leaving about a one-inch space between the crumb mixture and top of pan.  Bake for 10 minutes in center of oven on a rimmed baking tray. Remove from oven.

Filling: Cream the room temperature cream cheese together with the sugar in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment on high speed for about 1-3 minutes until smooth scraping down the sides frequently. Next add pumpkin and mix until combined. Add sour cream, spices and vanilla and mix until combined. Add in eggs one at a time and do not over mix, just until combined. Pour into crust.

Bake for 10 minutes on a rimmed baking tray at 350 and then reduce oven temperature to 325 F and bake for another 1 hour. Turn off the oven and open the oven door.  At this point the center should jiggle but not be soupy. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven with the door open or ajar for 15 minutes, remove and let cool at room temperature until cool.  Refrigerate 4 hours before serving. Pour sweetened sour cream and pecans over the top just before serving.

Homemade pumpkin puree: Use a 3-4 pound sugar pie or baking pumpkin. Cut off stem and cut in half carefully using a rocking motion. Remove seeds and keep to toast or discard.  Sprinkle with some salt and place cut side down on a parchment covered baking tray. Bake in oven at 350 F for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let sit for an hour or two.  When cool, scrape flesh from the skin and mash with a fork until smooth or place in a food processor.

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.

Show 21, March 16, 2013: Chef Elizabeth Whitt, Culinary Instructor

Our resident Le Cordon Bleu (Paris) trained chef instructor was back with us to present her tempting Easter in Provence menu. The beauty of her menu is that all of the recipes can be prepared ahead of time (with the exception of the roasting of the lamb) so you can enjoy your family, friends, and food. That’s certainly good thinking !

Chef Elizabeth went over her recipes, including chef’s tips, for Smoked Paprika and Nicoise Olive Deviled Eggs, Spring Herb Salad with Fennel and Chevre and Herb Roasted Leg of Lamb.

All of the recipes are posted on her site.

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Show 21, March 16, 2013: Chef Elizabeth Whitt, Culinary Instructor (Continued…)

Chef Elizabeth continued with her “Easter in Provence” menu.

More tips were shared for preparing the Herb Roasted Leg of Lamb.

From there the feast continued with Provencal Asparagus and Potatoes. Dessert is Strawberry Clafoutis with Lavendar Crème Fraiche Ice Cream.

Elizabeth has a regular series of classes for cooks at all levels. Check her website for details.

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Show 10, December 22, 2012: Jet Tila, William Lewis (Sommelier and Managing Partner @ The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in Tustin,) and Elizabeth Whitt, Chef Instructor and pastry master, deluxe.

Sir William Lewis of the Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in TustinChef Elizabeth presented her recipes for Apple Cranberry Crumble Tart and Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie. From there Chef Elizabeth offered tips for preparing the perfect pie crust.

Sommelier William then gave the 411 on Ice Wine, and its rising popularity. Great as a dessert wine…

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