(Fried flying fish and macaroni pie courtesy of Lily’s Blog)
I was just reading about food from Barbados in an issue of Sherman’s Travel. On top of dishes like fried flying fish, barracuda, and stewed breadfruit and okra, I was quite taken with the description of macaroni pie. According to the magazine, macaroni pie is “Barbados’s ubiquitous interpretation of mac and cheese, except that, well, it’s absurdly delicious. As with the U.S. version, the pasta is mixed with cheese and baked, but Bajans also add sweet peppers, garlic, tomato, and spices.”
Man I bet that’s good. I immediately turned to the Internet, but was let down with the lack of Barbados Macaroni Pie recipes out there. After some digging, I did come upon this one, which looks the closest to what Sherman’s Travel is describing.
I can’t vouch for this recipe, but it does look promising. If I were going to make this–and I probably will–I would add some heat, like chili powder or a chopped jalapeño, and a clove of garlic the same time I added the scallions. I would also skip the peas (the corn serves their purpose in terms of texture and they just seem like they would get in the way). Here it is:
Caribbean Macaroni Cheese Pie
- * 2 cups dried short cut macaroni
* 3 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing
* 3 tablespoons white flour
* 2 cups milk
* 1 teaspoon mild prepared mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
* 1 egg, beaten
* 4 scallions, finely chopped
* 1/2 cup peas (optional)
* 3 tablespoons chopped plum tomatoes, canned (or fresh)
* 2/3 cup corn kernel (fresh or canned or frozen)
* fresh parsley, chopped (to garnish)
1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni until al dente(about 8 minutes). Rinse under cold water and drain.
2. Melt 2 tbls. of the butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly until the sauce boils and thickens.
3. Stir in the mustard, cinnamon and 1 cup of the cheese. Cook gently, stirring often, until the cheese has melted, then remove from the heat and whisk in the egg. Set aside.
4. Melt the remaining butter in a small fryiing pan and cook the scallions, chopped tomatoes and corn over a gentle heat for 5-10 minutes. Add peas now if using. Season to taste.
5. Tip half of the cooked macaroni into a greased ovenproof dish. Pour over the other half of the cheese sauce and mix well. Then spoon the tomato and corn mix over the macaroni.
6. Stir the remaining macaroni into the remaining cheese sauce, then spread this carefully over the tomato and corn mixture. Top with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbling.