Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bahamian Mac n' Cheese

Bahamian Mac and Cheese
I fell in love with Bahamian Mac n' Cheese when we visited the Bahama's the first time,  and in subsequent visits as well.    I used to go into Munchies (a local restaurant) and order a side of Mac n' Cheese and some Peas n' Rice for lunch every day while we were there.   There was just something about that combination of flavours that hit the spot for me.     And I learned how to make both the Mac n' Cheese and the Peas n' Rice when we returned home.      For today I'm just going to make the Mac n' Cheese to go with a ham steak I have.

Here's how the original recipe was explained to me, and how I wrote it down.

Bahamian Mac n Cheese
Box Mueller's large elbow mac cooked
2-3 large eggs
a large block daisy cheese(Irish mild cheddar)grated (whole ting!) (up to a full pound)
tin condensed milk
celery, onion, green pepper couple teaspoons of each chopped
a couple bird peppers all smash up with spoon-NEVER finger! You'll go blind if you get it near your eye!
Grated Cheese, Monterey Jack and Cheddar
Grated Monterey Jack and Cheddar (mimics mild Irish Cheddar)

Finely chopped celery, green pepper and a green onion

Soften the veggies a little in a strainer on the pot of cooking macaroni.

Mix the grated cheese into the hot macaroni

Add the eggs and evaporated milk and stir it up.

mix all up-not TOO hard to smash the noodles now!
and bake @ 350 for an hour (til set) or til top turns lil brown around edges.
Good luck to you miss
Just out of the oven.

And why mess with a good recipe?   I pretty much make it like that to this day.    We don't have bird peppers here so I use a Thai pepper or a red jalapeno and just mince it up.    This bakes up so well, and best of all, you just slice it into squares and serve it, either hot or room temp.

Personally, I'll take it any way I can get it.

History lesson, very short.   Fresh milk, meat and produce used to be at a premium in the Bahama's.  Which means that many recipes there evolved using evaporated or condensed milk in place of fresh milk. And before electricity, the locals preserved a lot of their food using means other than refrigeration or freezing.  Salt pork is still widely used in many recipes, and the use of fresh locally available fruits and vegetables are incorporated in many dishes.   

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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