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Cheeze whiz: David Page's skillet-roasted mac'n'cheese is a tribute to his dad.  

Perfect Pot Roast
CHARLIE PALMER
AUREOLE, ALVA, ASTRA, AND METRAZUR

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 6-pound beef rump roast
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 sprigs fresh marjoram
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Pinch of ground cinnamon
18 to 24 pearl onions, peeled
18 baby carrots, peeled and trimmed
18 tiny new potatoes, scrubbed
12 baby turnips, scrubbed and trimmed
1 cup frozen petit peas, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water, or 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened and kneaded into 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (optional)

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper and sear, turning frequently, until all sides are lightly browned.

Remove the meat from the pot. Drain off all the fat and carefully wipe the pot clean with paper towels. Return the meat to the pot, add the broth, wine, 1 cup water, chopped carrots and onion, tomato paste, marjoram, thyme, bay leaves, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil and immediately reduce the heat, cover, and cook at a low simmer for about 2 and a 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is almost tender. Alternatively, the pot roast can be cooked in a 350-degree oven for about 3 hours.

Remove the meat from the cooking liquid and set it aside. Skim off the excess fat from the cooking liquid and strain the liquid through a fine sieve, pressing against the solids to extract as much of the liquid as possible. Discard the solids.

Return the meat and the strained liquid to the Dutch oven. Add the pearl onions, baby carrots, potatoes, and turnips, place over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas, and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Remove the meat and vegetables from the cooking liquid, and place them on a serving platter. Tent lightly with aluminum foil to keep warm. If the cooking liquid is not thick like a gravy, return it to medium heat and whisk in the optional cornstarch mixture or the butter-flour mixture, a small amount at a time.

Slice the meat into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and arrange it down the center of the serving platter. Place the vegetables around the edge of the platter, and spoon some gravy over the top. Serve with the remaining gravy.

Dad's Macaroni and Cheese
DAVID PAGE
HOME

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for the skillet
1 large yellow onion, cut in 1/8-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup grated Wisconsin Asiago cheese
3/4 cup grated dry Jack cheese (Parmesan can be substituted)
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook until they are softened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns light brown, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk. Add the paprika, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cheeses, and stir until they are melted. Add the macaroni, and stir until the noodles are thoroughly coated. Remove from the heat. (Do not allow the macaroni to sit at this stage as it will dry out.)

Butter two 6-inch cast-iron skillets or one 12-inch skillet. Transfer the macaroni mixture into the skillets. Top with the sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.

Bake until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Garnish with the chopped herbs.

Apple Pie With a Cheddar Crust
WALDY MALOUF
BEACON

Pie crust:

1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup grated good-quality sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/4 pound)
3/4 cup (1 and a 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut in 8 pieces
1 large egg

Filling:
5 or 6 large tart apples such as McIntosh or Cortland, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
1/2 bourbon vanilla bean, split lengthwise (regular vanilla bean can be substituted)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour

Crust: Put the flour, salt, and cheese into the bowl of a food processor and pulse three to four times until the cheese is finely chopped and evenly distributed. Add the butter and pulse three to four times until the mixture has the consistency of corn meal. (It should not be smooth.) Transfer the mixture to a medium-size bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and break in the egg. Using a fork, stir the egg into the flour mixture. With your hands, knead the dough into a mass, then divide into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Pat and spread the larger ball of dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Place the remaining dough between 2 pieces of wax paper, and roll to form the top crust. Refrigerate or freeze both crusts, covered, for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator 1/2 hour before baking.

Put the apples and vanilla bean in a bowl, squeeze the lemon over them, and sprinkle on the salt, sugar, and flour. Using your hands, mix the filling thoroughly and pile it into the pie crust. Cover the apples with the top crust. Dip your finger in water and run it along the pie plate between the two crusts, then crimp the edges and trim the crust. Slash the top crust or cut a decorative shape out of the pastry to allow the steam to escape, and bake the pie on the bottom shelf of the oven for 1/2 hour. Lay a piece of foil loosely over the pie, and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the juices are bubbling and the fruit is tender (stick a knife through the opening in the crust to see if it is done). Serve warm, with or without extra cheese.

Chocolate Brownies
CLAUDIA FLEMING
GRAMERCY TAVERN

8 ounces unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing the pan
4 ounces high-quality unsweetened chocolate (preferably Scharffen Berger)
2 large eggs
1 and 2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans (or 1/3 cup pecans and 1/3 cup chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.

Beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together in a bowl until combined. Add the melted butter and chocolate, and whisk until incorporated. Fold in the flour and salt, and finally stir in the nuts.

Pour into a greased 9-by-9-inch pan and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until it's just pulling away from the sides; the center should be very moist but not runny.

Allow to cool in the pan before cutting. Best served when the brownies have rested for several hours.

  • FOOD STYLING BY ALISON ATTENBOROUGH; PROP STYLING BY PHILIPPABRATHWAITE.
  • PIE SERVER FROM PAULA RUBENSTEIN; CHECKERBOARD FROM JUDITH AND JAMESMILNE, INC.
  • PLATE FROM WILLIAMS-SONOMA; SPATULA FROM PAULA RUBENSTEIN; NAPKINS FROMAD HOC; TABLE FROM JUDITH AND JAMES MILNE, INC.
  • BOWLS FROM JUDITH AND JAMES MILNE, INC.; SPOONS BY PAULA RUBENSTEIN;PLATTER FROM BRIDGE KITCHENWARE; STRIPED CLOTH FROM LAURA FISHER.
  • NAPKIN FROM TAKASHIMAYA; STRIPED CLOTH FROM LAURA FISHER; TABLE FROMJUDITH AND JAMES MILNE, INC.; NAPKIN FROM AD HOC; SPOON FROM PAULARUBENSTEIN.


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