Martha Stewart’s Macaroni and Cheese (adapted)
6 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated pecorino Romano
1 pound De Cecco Cavatappi
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
2. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.
4. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer’s directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.
Ina’s Chicken Pot Pie (adapted)
3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup half & half
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
2 containers cremini mushrooms, sauteed or roasted
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
For the pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.
For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.
Chicken Stew with Biscuits
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style
4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (or 1 rotisserie chicken)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
1/2 cup flour + 1 tablespoon
1 cup half & half
3 medium-diced carrots
3 small ribs celery, cut crosswise 1/4-inch thick
1 package cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh minced thyme
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
For the biscuits:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into medium dice. You will have 4 cups of cubed chicken.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions, carrots & celery over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until softened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. While vegetables are sautéing, shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Transfer cooked vegetables to bowl with chicken; set aside. Add 1 tablespoon to Dutch oven and saute mushrooms 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of Sherry and deglaze pan. Transfer to bowl with chicken & vegetables. Heat butter over medium heat in again-empty skillet. When foaming subsides, add flour; cook about 1 minute. Whisk in chicken broth, milk, any accumulated chicken juices, and thyme. Bring to simmer, then continue to simmer until sauce fully thickens, about 1 minute. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper; stir in sherry. Add the chicken, carrots, celery, mushrooms, onions, thyme and parsley. Mix well. Place the stew in a 10 x 13 x 2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the half-and-half and combine on low speed. Mix in the parsley. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out circles with a 2 inch round cutter.
Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling. Brush them with egg wash, and return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.
Note: To make in advance, refrigerate the chicken stew and biscuits separately. Bake the stew for 25 minutes, then place the biscuits on top, and bake for another 30 minutes, until done. Serves 6 to 8.
Olive Oil, Minced Garlic, Mozzarella-Fontina Blend, Pecorino Romano Cheese, Cremini Mushrooms, Shitake Mushrooms, Italian Sausage, Red Onion.
Cooks Illustrated Thin Crust Pizza Dough
Makes two 13-inch pizzas
3 cups (16 1/2 ounces) bread flour , plus more for work surface
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/3 cups ice water (about 10 1/2 ounces) (see note)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil , plus more for work surface
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
FOR THE DOUGH: In food processor fitted with metal blade, process flour, sugar, and yeast until combined, about 2 seconds. With machine running, slowly add water through feed tube; process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough stand 10 minutes.
Add oil and salt to dough and process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of work bowl, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove dough from bowl and knead briefly on lightly oiled countertop until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape dough into tight ball and place in large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.
Heat oven to 500 degrees and bake until crust is well browned and cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating pizza halfway through. Can be baked on parchment paper.