Ask Uncommon Caribbean: Preparing Macaroni Pie
Welcome to a new feature we’re calling: Ask Uncommon Caribbean. Simply use our contact page, Twitter or Facebook to ask us any Caribbean related question (travel, vacations, food, activities, culture, etc.) you may have and we’ll do our best to provide an answer as soon as possible.
Last week, UC reader Kajmere sent in this question via our contact page:
I know that everyone has their own way of preparing Macaroni Pie. Do you have your version posted?
Well, for those not familiar with Caribbean macaroni pie, I should start by mentioning that it’s a little different from what Americans generally think of when it comes to combining macaroni and cheese.
Last year, Americans spent nearly a billion dollars on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. A billion… With a “B!”
Now, Steve may correct me on this, but I don’t ever remember being served Mac & Cheese by my Trinidadian parents at home. In our house, when macaroni came in contact with cheese, it was always in the firm, delicious form of macaroni pie.
Similarly to guava cheese, the name “macaroni pie” is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, there is macaroni involved and baking, but it’s far from what could really be considered a pie.
Thankfully, the recipe is quite simple and sure to add a special Caribbean twist to almost any meal. It’s great as a side dish with meats, vegetables, etc. Or you can cut your macaroni pie into smaller cubes (or bake it in a muffin pan) to serve as an appetizer… Just expect rave reviews from guests when entertaining!
Once again, this recipe (though slightly modified) comes from our favorite cookbook: The Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook, which you can buy for yourself online now at the Uncommon Caribbean Shop.
- 1 pack macaroni (8 oz.)
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups grated cheese (we like pepperjack and cheddar)
- 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- 2 hot dogs (or Tofu Pups for the vegetarians)
- 1/2 cup of peas
Start by following the instructions for the macaroni. Cut hot dogs length-wise, then horizontally into 1/2 inch segments. Fry hot dogs until crispy. Beat the eggs until fluffy. Combine everything (except 1/4 cup of cheese) in a large mixing bowl—mixing thoroughly. Pour it all into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle saved 1/4 cup of cheese evenly over the top. Bake at 350º F until firm (approximately 30 minutes). Personally, I like to go a little further until the macaroni on top gets a little brown and crispy. Mmmmm.
And that’s it! If you really want the perfect accompaniment to your macaroni pie, try this simple recipe for callaloo, another traditional West Indian side dish.
Thanks for your question Kajmere. Enjoy your delicious macaroni pie among friends and send photos!
If anyone else has any questions for us, don’t hesitate to send them our way.