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A Three-Star, Three-Course Meal

While there are thousands of restaurants in New York, there are very few chefs who make a true impact. But chef Michael Anthony has made a real splash.

Anthony took over the kitchen at the much-loved Gramercy Tavern last fall and quickly dazzled the restaurant's many fans with his wonderful food sense and swoon-worthy cooking. In fact, just this week, he got a glowing three-star review from The New York Times.

Chef Anthony took over the reins of Gramercy Tavern from celebrity chef Tom Colicchio. Formerly the executive chef of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Anthony achieved widespread critical acclaim for his delicious, straightforward, contemporary cuisine with an enthusiastic focus on local, seasonal ingredients; in fact, Blue Hill at Stone Barns grows many of its own vegetables.

He was named one of Food & Wine magazine's "Best New Chefs" in 2002 and was also lauded in Bon Appetit's "Next Generation" in 2003. Additionally, under his kitchen leadership, Blue Hill at Stone Barns received a three-star review in the Times, as well as a James Beard Foundation nomination for "Best New Restaurant" in 2005.

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Prior to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Anthony cooked in many of the world's finest kitchens including Daniel, March, L'Astrance, L'Arpege, and Jacques Cagna.

Anthony grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated from Indiana University with degrees in business, French and Japanese.

Gramercy Tavern, part of the Danny Meyer family of restaurants, opened in 1994.

Hot Smoked Brook Trout with Snap Pea Puree and Pickled Onion vinaigrette
(Yields: 4 portions)

Pea Purée
1/2 C green peas, blanched
1/2 C vegetable stock
1 T brown Butter
1 T olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

1. To brown the butter, place in a sauté pan and melt over low heat until butter has a light brown color. Be careful not to burn the butter.

2. Heat vegetable stock over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.

3. Remove from heat and add blanched peas.

4. Place mixture in blender and purée with brown butter and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reserve.

Pickled Onions
4 cipollini onions, sliced into rings
2 beets, sliced
1 C white wine vinegar
1/2 C water
1 T sugar
1 tsp salt

1. Add beets, white wine vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, then strain. Throw away the solids and keep only the liquid.

2. Add cipollini onions to the liquid. You can either use immediately, or chill. This preparation preserves the onions and will hold for several days at a refrigerated temperature.

Pickled Onion Vinaigrette
1 onion, medium, minced
1 T red wine vinegar
3 C deep red wine
1 T sugar
1/2 olive oil
Lemon juice, to taste

1. Put wine, onion and sugar in saucepan and cook until the liquid reduces almost completely - to about 1 T.

2. Finish vinaigrette by whisking in olive oil, red wine vinegar and a drop of lemon juice.

Brook Trout
4, 4-oz trout fillets

1. Following the directions for your smoker, smoke trout fillets for 7 minutes over low heat using apple wood chips.

2. If you don't have a smoker, you can lightly grill the fillets over a low-heat charcoal fire.

Assembling the dish:

1. Spoon the pea purée onto the center of the dish.

2. Streak one side of the plate with the pickled cipollini onions and the other side of the plate with the onion vinaigrette.

3. Place the smoked trout fillet on top of the snap pea purée.

Pasture-Raised Chicken with Asparagus, Carrots and Baby Turnips
(Yield: 4 portions)

Spring Vegetables
1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
2 carrots, peeled, cut into obliques
2 baby turnips, peeled and cut in half
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp butter
6 thyme sprigs

1. Preheat oven to 400° F.

2. Toss vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

3. Place in a single layer in a large skillet. Roast in oven until just turning golden brown, approximately 15 minutes.

4. Remove and toss with butter and fresh thyme sprigs. Cook on stove top a few minutes more until butter is melted and vegetables are well coated.

Brine for chicken breast
1 gallon water
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup sugar, granulated
2 cups salt
1 Tbsp mustard seed
2 Tbsp crushed black pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 springs thyme
1 Bay leaf
1 cup white wine vinegar

1. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.

2. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. Add chicken breasts and submerge.

4. Refrigerate breasts in brine for 24 hours.

5. Remove and pat dry before cooking.

Pasture-Raised Chicken
4 chicken breasts
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 recipe for brine, above.

1. Add chicken breasts to brine and submerge. Refrigerate breasts in brine for 24 hours.

2. Heat grill.

3. Remove breasts from brine and pat dry. Place on grill and cook through, turning once, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

For Rhubard Streusel Tart recipe, go to page 2.

Rhubarb Streusel Tart
(Yield: 1 - 9" Tart)

For the Pate Sucre Crust:
1/4 cut sugar, granulated
1 stick butter, unsalted (4 ounces)
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk

1. Combine sugar and flour.

2. Cut in butter in small pieces.

3. Add egg yolk, mixing just until the mixture comes together as dough.

4. Refrigerate at least one hour and up to two days ahead.

5. Roll into a 9" tart pan and blind bake until golden brown.

For the Pastry Cream Filling:
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Egg yolks 3 each
Eggs 1 each
Butter 1 Tbsp

1. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch.

2. Gradually add 1/2 of the milk to the sugar/cornstarch mixture to create a smooth slurry.

3. Bring the remaining milk to a boil.

4. Whisk the eggs into the cornstarch mixture and gradually temper the hot milk into the eggs.

5. Return the entire mixture to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, until it reaches a boil.

6. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.

7. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until chilled and up to two days ahead.

For the Streusel Topping:
Butter 4 Tbsp
Flour 1 cup
Sugar 1/3 cup
Cinnamon 1/4 tsp
Salt pinch

1. Combine all ingredients until it looks crumbly.

2. Bake at 325° F until golden brown.

For the Rhubarb Jam:
Rhubarb, diced small 1 cup
Sugar, granulated 1/2 cup

1. Combine 1/2 cup of the rhubarb and the sugar in a sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until jam like.

2. Add another 1/4 cup of the rhubarb and return to a boil, still stirring constantly.

3. Add the final 1/4 cup of rhubarb and immediately remove from heat.

4. Let cool. Can be made up to 2 days in advance.

To Assemble:

Rhubarb, diced small 1/2 cup

1. Preheat oven to 325° F.

2. Stir 1/2 cup of diced rhubarb into pastry cream.

3. Spoon into pre-baked tart shell and bake until the pastry cream just begins to bubble around the edges.

4. Remove from oven and let cool.

5. Spread top with rhubarb jam and top with pre-baked streusel.

6. Best served day it's made at room temperature or chilled.

7. Serve with purchased strawberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream.

**This works best with young beautiful rhubarb available right now. The thicker, stringier rhubarb won't work well in this particular recipe.

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