I’m not going to count last night’s dinner as part of my 40 for 40, as both things are riffs on recipes I’ve made several times before. Lolo came over, needing to dispose of a lot of heavy cream and cheese, and I was immediately reminded of Sauveur’s Southern-Style macaroni and cheese, mostly because when my fridge crapped out (the first time), I needed a good way to use up a lot of the dairy in a hurry. This recipe hits on all the big ones- heavy cream, half and half, sour cream, cheese, and eggs added for good measure. It is the macaroni and cheese I remember from foil pans in church basements, the kind of food that people bring over after a funeral.
It is decidedly different from my (and my mother’s version) – al dente noodles swimming in a luxuriously creamy custard, dotted with pockets of cheese. Lactards (I use the term with endearment!) in the audience, avert your eyes! My recipe is more of a traditional casserole, denser, peppery, and despite copious amounts of butter, whole milk (really, is there any other kind?) and cheese, healthier than the Sauveur version. That version is especially adaptable last night I used smoked Gruyère and aged cheddar (that’s what Lolo provided), and added milk to the half and half, as I only had about a third of the required amount. And, because I am me, I forgot the flour. Oops.
The second recipe was a barley and lentil stew. Late one night last week, I decided to get rid of all the sundry bags in my cabinet and organize things in mason jars- lentils, oats, beans…and barley, leftover from a fourth of July party two years ago. I’ve recently traded my rolled oats for steel-cut oats, and have been exploring the bulk bins at my store with a little more interest. I always have lentils around, as they cook faster than beans, and can be salad or stew or dal or anything, really. I paired this with pork meatballs from the kitchn, and the meatballs contributed something that led Lolo to remark “the ginger in this is great!”