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Chocolate & Love: A Valentine's Day Recipe from Chef Elizabeth Lindemer

Posted by Elizabeth Lindemer on 2/7/17

Chocolate 5

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz

Around the world chocolate is adored and loved by millions. It is used to helps us celebrate the good times, as a gift to someone special, as a reward for a job well done, as a form of art and creativity, and, when times are tough, it can also be comfort. But the chocolate that many of know and love has come quite a long way, and for much of its known existence it has not been so readily available to the masses, like it is today. Let’s take a quick look at how we have arrived at our place in time with this love affair.
The tree that is responsible for giving us the amazing gift that is chocolate is called Theobroma cacao, which translates to “food of the gods.” And it’s no wonder that it received this name.

The first known evidence of chocolate is traced back to as early as 1900 B.C. in what we now know as Mexico. It is said to have been Chocolate 7discovered in the Central American rainforest by the Mesoamericans, who cultivated, fermented, roasted and ground the beans into a paste which they would combine with spices such as chili and sometimes honey and then brew it into a frothy beverage. In fact, the word “chocolate” can be traced back to the Aztec word “xocoatl” which is a bitter drink that is brewed from cacao beans. This beverage was found to be energizing and some even thought of it as an aphrodisiac. As a chef and someone that follows culinary trends I love to find tidbits of information such as this. I had known that it was roasted and brewed into a beverage, but was unaware of the fermenting. Fermenting has become such a popular trend over the past few years, and I always find it so intriguing to see how the “new and big” trends almost always tie back into processes that have been used for centuries.

The Mayans would reserve this exceptional treat for their most noble citizens, priests, warriors and rulers. And when the Spanish conquistadors brought it back to their homeland it was only enjoyed by the most elite, who adapted it slightly by adding the sweetness of cane sugar and sometimes a hint of cinnamon. Throughout so much of its life, chocolate remained a treat for the aristocrats and privileged of society, and minus the addition of sweeteners and some spices was enjoyed in a similar way as the Mesoamericans.
It’s not unforeseeable that chocolate would have remained as an elitist treasure for even longer, but in 1828 a Dutch chemist named Coenraad Johannes van Houten invented the cocoa press which would extract the rich and fatty cocoa butter from roasted beans leaving behind a dry substance that was easily processed into a fine powder....cocoa powder. The creation of cocoa powder enabled chocolate to be a much more affordable and accessible product, and put its innovation on the fast track.

Less than 20 years after the invention of the cocoa press, and centuries after the Mesoamericans had discovered this magical bean, J.S. Chocolate 6Frye & Sons, a British chocolate company, created the first solid edible chocolate bar. And it wasn’t long afterwards that in 1879, the now world renowned Rodolphe Lindt created the conching machine, which would produce chocolate with an extremely velvety texture and superior taste. Since then we have had many more advances which have made chocolate one of the most popular foods in the world. It is reported that in America alone, on average each consumer eats about 12 pounds a year!
It’s hard to imagine a life without chocolate, at least in my book. Technically speaking, I don’t NEED chocolate to survive. And if memory serves me then I’m pretty sure that chocolate didn’t have its own category as part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Yes, it is a food and therefore it’s included in the basic physiological needs, but it’s more than just...food.
It is said to truly love you must understand, so now that we understand a little bit better I feel it’s high time that we have an opportunity to enjoy our love of chocolate!

I’m sharing with you my recipe for chocolate mousse. Yes you can buy packaged easy prep mousse in your grocery store, but you’ll find this much more indulgent and once you get the hang of making it you’ll see it’s not that hard at all. I feel that chocolate mousse is the perfect dessert for someone who is craving rich and indulgent chocolate but not something that is heavy, such as a cake. It’s similar to a pudding or custard but much lighter and more airy. It’s just classy enough for entertaining and simple since you can make it a day ahead. Plus it looks very beautiful with just simple garnish of a few berries. You’ll be hard pressed to find a lover of chocolate turn their nose up to a cute cup filled with such a delicate and satisfying treat!

Chocolate Mousse

Yield: approximately 6 servings


• Heavy Cream ½ cup
• Egg Whites 4 whites
• Sugar 2 ½ Tbsp
• Bittersweet Chocolate 1/2 pound
• Butter, cold & cut into 4 4 Tbsp
• Egg Yolks 4 yolks


Chocolate 3

1. Whip heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Whip this until it forms stiff peaks.
3. Set up a double boiler. A what? How do I do this?
a. Find a small sauce pot and fill with about 1 ½ - 2 inches of water. Chocolate 2b. Find a metal mixing bowl to sit over the pot. It should be slightly larger than the pot.
4. Heat the water over medium heat until boiling: then reduce heat to low.
5. Add the chocolate chips to the bowl and let melt while stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula.Chocolate 46. Add the butter and stir until melted and fully incorporated; Remove from the heat.
7. In a separate bowl, gently whisk the egg yolks.
8. Very slowly drizzle the warm chocolate mixture into egg yolks while gently and continuously whisking the yolks. (This is called tempering the yolks.)
9. Gently fold ½ of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then repeat with ½ of the egg whites. Repeat with remaining whipped cream and egg whites.
10. Portion into serving bowls, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
11. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh berries.


  • Elizabeth Lindemer
  • Elizabeth Lindemer
    Corporate Executive Chef


Local Flavor: Maryland Pit Beef

Posted by Elizabeth Lindemer on 1/17/17

Pit Beef 1

This January marks one year for me in Maryland and during this time I have enjoyed many local favorites: hands down the very best crabcakes in the world, steamed and deliciously seasoned blue crabs, golden fried soft shell crabs, Natty Boh, Flying Dog, Heavy Seas and the vast array of local brews, Bergers cookies, rock fish (it’s actually striped bass, but we’ll just let by- gones be by- gones), a dinner to remember at Volt....this is just to name a few. I have truly enjoyed many of the good things that Maryland has to offer, and I have a good feeling that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

As a chef, the most logical way to learn about a new place is to eat. Also, as a chef I enjoy sharing my love of food with those around me, so let’s begin some culinary discoveries in and around the Mid Atlantic. I figured I should start the journey close to home....with Baltimore’s own Pit Beef. Around here it’s often called barbeque, but if you’re expecting a piece of beef that cooked slowly over a low temperature and is seasoned with a rich and sweet molasses, tangy tomato, notes of vinegary mustard and savory onion and garlic, you’re in for a surprise. Stunningly, it is cooked in rather short amount of time....less than hour total for 4 to 5 pound top round roast. Although I saw some evidence of smoking, the vast majority of places cook it over a bed of piping hot coals. And the seasoning is an uncomplicated mixture of salt, garlic, chili and black pepper. You would think that a sparing seasoned cut of beef that is grilled over hot coals in short amount of time would yield something tough and unpleasant. You would be wrong. It’s delightfully moist and tender with a pleasant beefy-ness and studded with bits of flawlessly seasoned and charred edges. Pit Beef 2
Being new to the pit beef experience, by no means have I achieved expert status on this subject so I’ll just have to continue to eat my way to knowledge. With that being said, I have learned that this little treasure originated on the east side of the city from within the working-class neighborhoods. After it’s seasoned and grilled to a precise temperature and allowed to rest, it’s sliced. This next step is the icing on the beefy cake....They ask you how you want your meat! And that’s exactly how you get it. I prefer medium rare, but found that even the more well-done pieces are delightful. They can slice it either paper thin on a slicer or carved slightly thicker by hand, then it’s piled onto a Kaiser Bun or white bread. Many places offer a good assortment of toppings but I was told the best way to go about this is to finish with sliced onions and Tiger sauce (a delicious concoction made with horseradish).

In order to understand it I needed to sample from a couple of places around the area. My first stop was close to home, a small shack filled the aroma of beef and bacon. Overall it was alright, a bit dry so I was thankful for the generous helping of tiger sauce. I’ll leave the name out as not to offend. This wasn’t the best start to my journey and I was having some serious doubts about my chosen subject, but I was not ready to give up. I had read many reviews about a much loved joint called Chaps Pit Beef.

It’s located in downtown Baltimore, and it was well worth the trip. The small restaurant’s patrons included a good amount of families. And the beef was incredibly moist, tender and utterly enchanting. In life, the simple things when done right are such a treasure!
Now that I had a taste of what I wanted to recreate, it was time to enact the second part of the plan. I found a couple nice pieces of top round, created a simple and flavorful rub (recipe follows), let it sit over the weekend and then on Monday I fired up the grill. Everything I read said if using a propane grill to set it to a medium high setting, get a good char on all sides and move it to indirect heat to finish. Most of the recipes said to cook a 4-5 pound roast for a total of about 30-40 minutes or until it reached 120°F...really? That’s it?

After removing it from the grill, wrap it in foil and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. This is so simple...there’s no way it will yield a similar result as what I had experienced from Chaps. I was wrong....it was amazing, well at least “not bad” (which according to my oldest brother means pretty darn good food).
All that remained was to slice, pile, top and enjoy...and oh how we enjoyed!

Pit Beef 3
Baltimore Style Pit Beef

Ingredients for the beef:
• 1 Tbsp kosher salt
• 1 tsp cracked black pepper
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp chili powder
• ¼ tsp ground cumin
• 4-5 pound top round or eye round cut of beef
For the sandwiches:
• 6-8 Kasier buns
• 1-2 sweet onion
• 1 cup homemade or store bought horseradish sauce
1. Combine the salt with the spices, and rub generously onto the beef.
2. Cover and place in refridgerator for at least 4 hours. I recommend overnight or 2-3 days for maximum flavor.
3. Remove the seasoned beef from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature while you prepare the hot grill. If using charcoal prepare an area for direct heat to char it a bit, and an area of indirect heat to finish the cooking.
4. You’ll want to use the direct, intense heat to get a nice crust on the outside. Once this is achieved move it to the indirect heat and allow to continue to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 120-130°F...this took me about 30 minutes total on the grill.
5. Remove it from the grill and wrap it in foil. Allow it to rest for about 10-15 minutes while wrapped in the foil.
6. Unwrap and place on a cutting board. You’ll want to slice it as thin as possible and try to go against the grain.
7. Pile the thin slices of beef on the buns and top with slices of sweet onion and horseradish sauce.
8. For the full experience serve the sandwiches wrapped in foil and enjoy!

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  • Elizabeth Lindemer
  • Elizabeth Lindemer
    Corporate Executive Chef

Getting the Best Out of Beets

Posted by Elizabeth Lindemer on 11/09/2016

Beets 1

The warmth and humidity of summer has begun to dwindle and hand-in-hand with that departure goes the garden fresh tomato and freshly picked wild strawberries. The air is becoming cool and crisp, leaves are beginning to decorate the ground and I’ve already pulled out my gloves (Let’s be honest here, it doesn’t take much for me to wear gloves; they are one of my favorite accessories necessities)...all signs that autumn is here and it’s time to crank up the oven!

If you are a gardener and or avid shopper at your local farmers market, then you are surely seeing clear signs of autumn here as well. My tomato plants look very sad and are ready to be pulled, the tender lettuces are looking less than appealing, and there are no more cute little baskets of blackberries at my favorite stand. But now a new wave of vegetables is ready to take their place at the head of the table. Butternut and acorn squash, pumpkins, carrots, parsnips and beets are taking center stage in the garden, at the market, in restaurants and on my dining room table.

I enjoy beets prepared in many ways throughout the year...fried as chips, pickled, shaved thin or shredded on a salad, sautéed beet greens with garlic, the list goes on and on. My all-time favorite preparation for these colorful vegetables, however, is roasted. Slowly roasting them softens them into a tender treat and brings out their natural sugars.

The key to roasting beets is to remember “slow and low.” To bring out the best in your beets, and just about any dense food, you want to use a low temperature and allow cooking for a long period of time. This technique enables the natural sugars in beets to come out so that you can enjoy them on their own or as a vibrant addition to a recipe. Here is my technique for roasting beets....I’m sure you’ll delight in this as much as I do!

Tender Oven Roasted Beets

  • 6 large beets
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 6 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic, sliced in half
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Water

Beets 2Preheat the oven to 300°F. Gently scrub the beets without damaging the skin and remove the green tops. (Save the washed green and clean them from the thick ribs ... they are delicious sautéed with sliced garlic and olive oil.)

Arrange the beet, thyme, bay leaves and garlic in an oven proof pan. I like to use a heavy cast iron pan for jobs like this, one that is enamel is great as it will resist staining from the beets. A heavy cast iron may take longer to heat but they hold heat more evenly than a stainless steel pan and will maintain a temperature more consistently. Sprinkle the beets somewhat heavily with salt and drizzle with olive oil, then add enough water to go about halfway up the beets.

Beets 3If your pan has an oven proof lid then use that, otherwise cover the pan with foil. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven.
Roast for an hour, then check to see if they are done. The actual cooking time will depend on the size of the beets but these took about 1 ½ hours. To see if they are done roasting, carefully pierce with a fork into one of the beets. The fork should go easily into the beet, but you don’t want them to be mushy so be sure not to overcook them.

Once they are finished roasting, remove them from the oven and let cool slightly so that you can handle them without burning your hands. You’ll want them to still be fairly warm in order to easily remove the skin. If you have latex or similar gloves, you’ll want to wear them when removing the skin to avoid staining your hands. Remove the warm beets from the water and rub with a kitchen towel (one that you don’t mind staining) or paper towel to remove the skin. Enjoy your beets!

If you’ve grown accustomed to beets then you probably already have a few go-to pairings, and for someone that “loves, loves, loves” beets the pairings are countless, but here are a few ingredients that I find pair very well with beets.

  • Dairy: yogurt, sour cream, goat cheese and bleu cheese
  • Nuts: walnuts, hazel nuts, almonds and cashews
  • Fruits/Veggies: apples, oranges, squash, carrots and parsnips
  • Herbs and Spices: thyme, rosemary and dill; ginger, cinnamon and a cayenne
  • Condiments: Dijon mustard, honey and balsamic vinegar


  • Elizabeth Lindemer
  • Elizabeth Lindemer,
    Corporate Executive Chef


Chai Spiced Crème Caramel | A Recipe from Fuchs' Corporate Executive Chef Elizabeth Lindemer

Posted by Elizabeth Lindemer on 9/13/16

chai spiced creme caramel

With warm caramel and chai, this is the perfect dessert for a cool fall day - and Chef Elizabeth's favorite fall recipe!

Chai Spiced Crème Caramel

Serves 4


  • Whole Milk
  • Heavy Cream
  • Whole Cardamom Pods
  • Whole Black Peppercorns
  • Whole Fennel Seeds
  • Whole Cinnamon Sticks
  • Whole Cloves
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Whole Egg
  • Egg Yolk
  • Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup
  • 1 Cup
  • 10 each
  • 1 tsp.
  • 1 tsp.
  • 6 each
  • 5 each
  • 1/2 Cup
  • 1/2 tsp.
  • 2 each
  • 2 each
  • 2/3 Cup

Special Equipment: Four 6-ounce ceramic ramekins


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the ramekins in a shallow baking pan.
  2. Combine the milk, cream and whole spices in a small pot.
  3. Heat the milk mixture on medium, almost until a boil; Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. While the milk mixture is simmering, heat the granulated sugar in a small sautè pan and stir constantly until it is caramelized into an amber colored liquid.
  5. Pour the caramelized sugar into the bottom of ramekins. (Don't worry if the bottom isn't fully covered with caramel.)
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole eggs and egg yolks until just combined.
  7. Slowly add the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture and stir constantly with a rubber spatula.
  8. Fold in brown sugar until fully incorporated. Strain into a large measuring cup with a spout for ease in pouring. Pour the custard into the ramekins.
  9. Fill the baking dish with enough hot water to go about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  10. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes; Reduce the head to 325°F and continue to cool for 20-30 minutes.
  11. Custard should be set but still slightly wobbly in the center and a toothpick should come clean when inserted. Remove the pan from the oven and let still for 5-10 minutes at room temperature.
  12. Remove the ramekins from the pan and chill completely for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  13. When ready to serve, unmold by running a sharp knife around the edge of the ramekin. Invert the ramekin on a dessert plate so that it is upside down. While holding the ramekin firmly with the plate, shake it a couple times until it releases and you can remove the ramekin.


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Meet Elizabeth Lindemer

Fuchs’ Corporate Executive Chef

“As the chef for Fuchs North America, I have the opportunity to share my passion for food with our customers and help them overcome their culinary challenges every day.”

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