Cooking with Grace: Three Cheese Mac and Cheese with Sausage
Hello all and welcome to another addition of cooking with Grace! How has everyone been since last we met? Here in my house we are getting into the swing of school and all the juggling it entails. These first few weeks are brutal! Yes, yes I hear you saying, but what about cooking? Will we get to the cooking? Excellent question. Onto the cooking and all the fun to be had!
When I tried this month’s Cheese of the Month, I just knew I had to make a Mac and Cheese. I scoured the interwebs again, one of my favorite past times, the recipes people all the recipes! Ahem, sorry, excuse me. I may have gotten over excited. My apologies. So anywho. While I was scouring the interwebs I just couldn’t seem to find exactly what I was looking for. Nothing really went zing, so to speak. So I cobbled my own together from one that was close. The inspiration came from Gouda & White Cheddar Mac and Cheese by Murmursofricotta. Friends, I present my Three Cheese Mac and Cheese
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
Mashed Potato Topping
- 2 Lbs Potatoes Peeled and Chopped
- 6 Tbsp Butter
- 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
- 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
- 1/2 Cup Vegetarian Parmesan Grated
- Salt and Pepper To Taste
- 3/4 Cup French Lentils Rinsed
- 4 Sprigs Thyme
- 3 1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth I used Better than Bouillon
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 8 Ounces Mushrooms Sliced (I used Shitake)
- 1 Large Leek (white part only) Thinly Sliced
- 2 Medium Carrots Peeled and Diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 1 Cup Frozen Peas Thawed
- 1-2 tsp Lemon Juice
- Salt and Pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add potatoes and cook until tender. Strain.
- Melt butter and combine with whole milk in a small bowl, set aside.
- Mash Potatoes, stir in butter mixture and sour cream until just combined.
- Add 1/2 of the shredded parmesan, stir, season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- Give your lentils a quick rinse, while you bring 2 cups broth and thyme to a simmer.
- Add lentils to the broth and cook on low, partially covered, until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Set cooked lentils aside.
- Preheat oven to 375
- Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until tender and golden brown 8-10 minutes.
- Reduce heat, add carrots, leek, garlic and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper before adding tomato paste stirring to combine, cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Sprinkle flour into the pan, cook for one minute before adding the remaining 1 1/2 cups of broth along with the cooked lentils and frozen peas. Cook on low until mixture thickens.
- Remove thyme sprigs and stir in lemon juice.
- Transfer mixture to a 3 quart casserole dish and top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.
- Let cool 15 minutes before serving.
So there you have it. One very good dinner with the Cheese of the Month. A little time consuming, yes, but worth it. I think you could also change the meat to diced ham or a smoked sausage, or no meat at all and it would be just as good. Fun, Grace, where is the fun? Another excellent question! There was fun tonight. My teenager not only stayed in the kitchen and visited with me but helped me cook dinner. I had the best time showing them how to do some things and seeing what they have taught themselves when no one was looking. I myself am learning that while cooking and food itself is fun, it is more fun when you are sharing it with someone else. It also got rave reviews from said teenager. When asked how they liked it, they responded, “It’s mac and cheese.” Which is a huge step up from, “Food.”
I hope you enjoyed this installment of Cooking with Grace. As always, drop me a line with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make the most of your days, friends! Until next time, my dears!