The 500° Solution

Roasting doesn't have to take hours. Just turn up the heat.

Like most people, in winter I crave slow-cooked, intensely flavored foods. And, like everyone, I don't always have time to make them. So high-heat roasting has become my favorite cold-weather way to cook. It's a quick technique that Barbara Kafka features in her popular book, Roasting: A Simple Art. It's also easy: just turn the oven to its highest setting and slide in the pan of ingredients. They will emerge caramelized outside and moist inside. Since heat deepens flavor, the four dishes here--from seared veal chops with tender grapes to lemon-roasted chicken thighs--don't need to be doctored up with lots of herbs or spices. As a bonus, most of the elements can be tossed together in the roasting pan before cooking (no mixing bowl required), which cuts down on cleanup time.

Melissa Clark, a freelance writer and New York Times contributor, lives in New York City, where she does everything fast.

PUBLISHED January 2000

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