February marks the beginning of Black History Month.
It is a time to highlight and celebrate men and women that have been trailblazers in multiple fields, such as science, medical, technology and Civil rights leaders that have marched for countless hours down city blocks to fight for our rights. And at the heart of the celebration of Black Excellence is the food.
What an honor it is to celebrate the Black Culinary trailblazers that have paved the way for chefs that look like me.
The very first chef that I became acquainted with through tv was B. Smith.
I would secretly watch her on Saturday mornings when I was supposed to be watching School House Rock and/or the Super Friends. I remember just being amazed at how effortless her style was and how she made the dining experience evolve through the entertaining aspect of it. I remember whispering to myself…” I want to be just like her when I grow up!”
Then you have Edna Lewis, the Grande Dame of Southern Cooking.
She stood tall and regal in the kitchen. She helped refine the American view of Southern cooking through utilizing fresh in- season ingredients, and stunned the Culinary world with her iconic cookbook The Taste of Country Cooking.
In the 1940’s, during a time when New Orleans segregation laws made it illegal for Black and white customers to eat together. A culinary legend stepped in.
Leah Chase, who is known for her famous Dooky Chase’s Restaurant opens, Her restaurant became a safe place for civil rights leaders and their allies to meet. Mrs. Chase wanted to offer Black customers a place not only to have really good food but provide and elegant and dignified experience.
Each of these women have made an incredible mark, not only in the culinary world but in Black History.
In the spirit of celebrating the food that these women have shared with the world. They have each uniquely created food for us to be comforted by. So this month I will share with you my favorite comfort food - Mac and Cheese!
- 1lb large elbow macaroni
- 4 cans Campbells Cheddar Cheese Soup
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- Morton's Season All season salt (not Lowry's)
- Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
- Olive oil
- Bring water to boil and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to your noodles in water. (this will help the noodles not stick together)
- Cook noodles to al dente, strain into a colander and run cold water over the noodles to cool down.
- Once cooled, add your noodles to a large bowl and add cheese sauce, sour cream and milk. Mix together with rubber spatula and mix it really well. Add more sour cream to taste and milk to ensure the mixture is moist but not runny
- Next, season to taste.
- Once you have seasoned, add 2 cups of shredded cheese and mix. Taste once more then add eggs and mix.
- Place your mixture in a baking pan covered with foil and bake at 375 degrees until heated all the way through.
- Once heated, remove foil and top with the remaining shredded cheese and place back in oven until cheese is melted, bubbling and golden brown