Bajan Macaroni Pie is a classic dish from the island of Barbados, a small Caribbean nation known for its beautiful beaches, warm hospitality, and delicious cuisine. This hearty casserole is a staple of Bajan cooking, and is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike for its rich and cheesy flavor, tender pasta, and crispy bread crumb topping. In this article, we’ll show you how to make Bajan Macaroni Pie at home, using simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions.
The first step in making Bajan Macaroni Pie is to gather your ingredients. You’ll need elbow macaroni, cheddar cheese, mustard, thyme, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, milk, eggs, bread crumbs, and butter. These ingredients are readily available at most grocery stores, and you may already have many of them in your pantry.
To start, cook the macaroni according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain the macaroni and set it aside. In a large skillet, sauté chopped onion and minced garlic until they’re soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mustard, thyme, salt, and black pepper to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
Next, add the milk to the skillet and bring it to a simmer. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until it’s melted and well combined. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the beaten eggs to the mixture. Stir well to combine.
Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese mixture and stir until it’s well coated. Grease a 9-inch baking dish with butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Pour the macaroni mixture into the baking dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle more bread crumbs on top for a crispy crust.
Bake the macaroni pie in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the edges are crispy. Let the macaroni pie cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Bajan Macaroni Pie is a great side dish for many Caribbean and Southern-inspired meals, such as jerk chicken, fried fish, or barbecued ribs. It’s also a great option for potlucks, family gatherings, and weeknight dinners, as it’s easy to make ahead of time and reheat later. Plus, it’s a dish that appeals to both kids and adults, as it’s creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor.
One of the great things about Bajan Macaroni Pie is that it’s a versatile dish that you can customize to your liking. For example, you can add more or less cheese, use different types of cheese, or experiment with different seasonings, such as paprika, cumin, or oregano. You can also add some diced ham or bacon to the mixture for a meatier version, or some diced peppers or tomatoes for a vegetable twist.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Bajan Macaroni Pie is a fairly rich and filling dish, so you may want to serve it with some lighter side dishes, such as a green salad or steamed vegetables. You can also adjust the serving size to your needs, depending on whether you’re serving it as a main course or a side dish.
In terms of nutritional value, Bajan Macaroni Pie is a fairly high-calorie and high-fat dish, due to the cheese, milk, and butter used in
the recipe. However, it does provide a good source of protein and calcium, thanks to the cheese and milk. If you’re looking for a healthier version of this dish, you can try using low-fat milk, reduced-fat cheese, or using a combination of cheese and Greek yogurt for a tangier flavor. You can also add some vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, or zucchini, to the mixture for added nutrients and fiber.
Overall, Bajan Macaroni Pie is a delicious and comforting dish that brings the flavors of Barbados to your table. Whether you’re a fan of Caribbean cuisine or just looking for a new twist on macaroni and cheese, this recipe is sure to please. So why not give it a try and enjoy a taste of the tropics today?
Bajan Macaroni Pie
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- 1 large skillet
- 1 large pot for boiling macaroni
- 1 9-inch baking dish
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 measuring cups and spoons
- 1 whisk or fork
- Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.1 lbs elbow macaroni
- In a large skillet, sauté the onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.1 onion, 3 cloves garlic
- Add the mustard, thyme, salt, and black pepper to the skillet, and cook for 2-3 minutes.2 tbsp mustard, 1 tbsp dried thyme, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper
- Add the milk to the skillet and bring to a simmer.2 cups milk
- Stir in the shredded cheese until melted and well combined.2 cups cheddar cheese
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the beaten eggs to the mixture. Stir well.2 eggs
- Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese mixture and stir until the macaroni is well coated.
- Grease a 9-inch baking dish with butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs.1/4 cup bread crumbs, 2 tbsp butter
- Pour the macaroni mixture into the baking dish and smooth out the top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the edges are crispy.
- Let the macaroni pie cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
- Make sure to cook the macaroni until al dente so it doesn’t become mushy when baked in the oven.
- The mustard and thyme are key ingredients that give the dish its distinctive Bajan flavor, so make sure to use them as directed in the recipe.
- Use good quality cheddar cheese, preferably one that is sharp and flavorful, to give the dish a rich and cheesy flavor.
- You can adjust the seasoning to your taste, adding more or less salt and pepper as needed.
- For a crispy crust, sprinkle bread crumbs on top of the macaroni mixture before baking.
- Let the macaroni pie cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving, to allow it to set and make it easier to cut into portions.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave or oven.
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