Last night was Night 3 of the hubby being gone, and I was out of pizza. It also happened to be the night he was coming home, and although he was just planning to pick something up on the way home, I thought it would be nice to cook something so we could have a late dinner together.
So what could I cook with the stuff I had on hand? Uhhhh… frozen cooked macaroni leftover from when Nora was a couple of months old? Check. Cheese? Always plentiful around here. Chard? I already mentioned we had a glut of it. That’s pretty much how chard mac and cheese was born. Despite being of humble origins, it turned out pretty well, I have to say. It was quick and easy to make after Nora went to bed, and served with a quick salad of bagged mache from Trader Joe’s and tarragon vinaigrette that I made a few days earlier, it was actually a pretty darn nice meal. The pasta was slightly mushy from being frozen and defrosted, but I’d definitely make this again with “new” macaroni.
Chard Mac and Cheese
Loosely based on this Jamie Oliver recipe for cauliflower mac and cheese (which is awesome, BTW)
1 bunch chard, cleaned and roughly chopped (cut stems into smaller pieces)
2-3 Tbs olive oil
8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. parmesan cheese, grated (I used a mixture of Italian four-cheese mix and a bit of smoked gouda I had leftover, because, why not?)
1 lb dried macaroni (I like to use whole wheat)
1 cup sour cream
Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, saute the chard in the olive oil. Once it’s wilted, add a splash or two of veggie broth and cover over low heat until liquid is absorbed and chard is tender. Cool and then chop finely. Press moisture out with paper towels.
Heat the sour cream and cheeses in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan with boiling water. Stir until combined and melted. Add the cheese mixture to the macaroni. Stir in the chard along with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a casserole dish, top with bread crumbs, and set under a preheated broiler until crumbs are golden brown. Serve and enjoy!
* I keep bread crumbs stored in a mason jar in the fridge. I just use the food processor to grind old loaves of bread and keep them on hand for future use. Super-handy for times like these!