Welcome back to Five Weeknight Dishes. As the weeks wear on, I am missing so much food I would like to be eating — hot popcorn at the movies, ice-cold Caesar salad at a restaurant, fried oysters on a planned beach trip — that it feels right and necessary to indulge in small ways, like melted cheese.
I’ve reached the stage of provisioning in which there are leathery stumps of eight different hard cheeses stuffed into the door of the fridge, not to mention half bags of shredded mozzarella and stray Kraft singles. Our recipes often call for Gruyère for melting, but here’s a good thing to know: Most hard cheeses (like Cheddar, Comté, Manchego and generic “Swiss”) can be combined with a little bit of processed cheese (like American or shredded mozzarella) in any recipe that calls for a layer or topping of melted cheese. (For an all-cheese dish, I would be more picky, but who is in the mood to dig the fondue pot out of storage? Not me.)
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Here are five real-world recipes for the week: