Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We don't ride the Kraft mac and cheese wagon

I recently went back to work full time. This of course came with a new set of challenges - getting dinner on the table quickly while the kids lay writhing on the floor exaggerating their hunger pangs and generally whining is by far the toughest. I confess to not serving the healthiest stuff these last 2 weeks. And I have a grand plan to do some better meal planning. But like my grand plan to get up and exercise at 5 am, it is not working out yet. So when the hubby had the day off and offered to make dinner, I had no objections. I came home to a nice steak dinner. Yum. For the kids, he made Kraft macaroni and cheese.

Unlike most kids, mine love going to the dentist and doctor, they love going to school, and - insert your shock here - have never liked macaroni and cheese. I thought that since it was a year since we last tried it that there was a fair chance they would taste it. No luck.
I am not disappointed since I don't think of Kraft as real mac and cheese. I grew up eating the traditional baked style. It was more of a macaroni pie. And I still love that today. Sorry Kraft, but you just don't cut it in our household. (Except for my husband who loves it).

For those who enjoy macaroni and cheese and might be open to trying something "out of the box", this is my favorite recipe. It is called Trinidad Macaroni Pie because it hails from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. I spent an incredible 10+ years of my life there and I miss it the most out of all the islands I have lived on. (Yes, for those who want that history, I suppose I will blog it one day.) Anyway, this is what I think of longingly when I hear the words 'macaroni and cheese':
Trinidad Macaroni Pie (from caribbeanpot.com)

INGREDIENTS

  • 14 oz macaroni (for authentic macaroni pie, use long macaroni not elbows - if you can find it)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 can evaporated milk (12.5 oz)
  • 1/4 habanero, dice fine (or leave it out if you're wimpy)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I added this b/c I like garlic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • paprika for dusting on top of pie
  • 1/3 teaspoon dry mustard

DIRECTIONS
  1. In a large pan put enough water to cover the macaroni, to boil. When the water starts boiling, salt and add the macaroni. Try not to overcook the macaroni, so we’ll only boil it for about 5-8 minutes or so. While this boils, we’ll prepare the other ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, add the diced pepper and onion, dry mustard, dash of black pepper, salt, eggs, butter and evaporated milk. Whisk together so everything is mixed thoroughly. Add grated cheese to the mixture, but keep back about 1/2 a cup to spread on top of the pie before baking.
  3. The macaroni should be cooked by now, so drain and allow to cool a bit, then add to the mixture we just made. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  4. Grease an 8x8 baking dish well so the pie does not stick to the sides. Then add the macaroni mixture. Using a spoon push down and level off. 
  5. Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup cheese saved earlier and dust with the paprika. When the oven comes to temperature place on the middle rack and allow to cook for about 30-40 minutes. You’re looking for a firm pie with a golden top. Allow to cool a bit before slicing.

4 comments:

Perry Kong said...

Hi Janine. I love KD - I think I'm just hardwired after all these years. But it did seem more fun when they were 5 for a buck (or when mom did the groceries and cooked!) And on a serious, healthier note - I love your Trinidad recipe.

Your story caught my attention and touched my heart. I know a few people who are living a similar life. I saw this other foodie blog recently and I can't remember if it was here on FBR, but here's the link if you haven't already seen it. Her son has Autism and she prepares Bento boxes for him. They're some of the nicest lunches I've ever seen.
http://thecleanbento.blogspot.com/

I hope this message finds you safe, happy and healthy.
Perry

Marla said...

Your version of mac and cheese sounds awesome!
Cookin' Canuck and I are in week 3 of Get Grillin’ and would love to have you join us. Please link up to 3 entree recipes including this dish. Doing so will qualify you to enter our Ild De France Cheese giveaway. It's also a way to share your amazing recipes with all of us. http://su.pr/17fizq

Marla said...

Your version of mac n' cheese sounds wonderful!
It is vegetarian week at Get Grillin' we would love if you submitted up to any 3 recipes (they don't have to be grilled) to our link up. This one would be perfect!
This week we have a ManPans giveaway. http://su.pr/3GCtXU

Amy @ Kitchen and Kids said...

I think my family would love this. They love foods with a kick. I will have to try it one of these days. Thank you for sharing.

Print button