Caribbean · Comfort Food · Pasta · Pies · Side Dishes · Vegetarian

Mac’n’Cheese Pie

Now, here is a family favourite that never gets old! It is meant to be eaten as a side dish with your meat and hard food, but in this house it is just as often eaten as a main course with a nice salad on the side.

It does take a bit of time to prepare and cook the Mac’n’Cheese Pie, but 45 minutes of the total time is the baking of the dish in the oven. And to be fair, everything can be prepared in advance so that all you need is to bake it off when it’s time to eat. Alternatively, you can pre-bake it and just heat it up before serving. Best of all – you can even make a big batch and put a few portions in the freezer for quick lunches or a day when there’s just no time to cook.

Please note, this recipe is listed as vegetarian, but it does have dairy products and eggs in it. If this is a no go for you, skip the eggs and substitute the dairy with dairy free alternatives.

This recipe makes 8 portions of Mac’n’Cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre (10dl) dried short cut macaroni
  • 6 tbsp butter, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 6 tbsp white flour
  • 1 litre (10dl)  milk
  • 2 dl cream
  • 1 tbsp mild mustard
  • (1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • 5+7dl cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 dl scallions (or onion), finely chopped
  • 1 dl peas (optional)
  • 1 dl chopped plum tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 2 dl sliced yellow and/or red peppers
  • 2 dl sweet corn
  • salt
  • pepper
  • seasoning of your choice
  • (fresh parsley, chopped (to garnish)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Boil the macaroni for 8 minutes in lightly salted water (it should be al dente but not crunchy inside) Rinse under cold water and drain.
  3. Melt 4 tbsp butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Add the cream and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring vigorously. Then gradually add the milk and keep whisking until the sauce boils and thickens.
  4. Stir in mustard, (cinnamon), salt and pepper to taste, and half the cheese, then remove from the heat. Keep stirring until the cheese has melted, then add the beaten eggs and fold them into the mixture until you have a smooth, well mixed thick sauce. Pour the sauce over the macaroni and fold together.
  5. Melt 2 tbsp butter in the frying pan and cook the vegetables on low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes. If you are using peas, add them after the rest of the veg have been cooked, then season the mixed veg to taste with salt, pepper and your favourite seasoning.
  6. Pour half of the mac’n’cheese into a greased ovenproof dish. Spread the veggie mix evenly over the base layer, and top with second layer of the remaining mac’n’cheese.
  7. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese all over the top layer and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbling.
  8. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley before serving (optional)

Serve as a side dish with your Sunday roast, or as a vegetarian main course with a seasonal salad.

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Caribbean · Side Dishes · Vegetarian

Callaloo Rice

Callaloo is the spinach of the West Indies. I have not found fresh callaloo in the UK yet, although I saw that you could buy the seeds off eBay. When I get my own garden, methinks there will be a few stands of callaloo in there.

This is a side dish that goes well with most fish, seafood and chicken dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unprocessed white rice
  • 1 tin callaloo
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 lemon, sliced with the peel on
  • 1 large tomato, quartered

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients with 11 dl (just over a litre!) of water and bring to boil.
  2. Cover the pan and simmer gently until rice is done, ie approx 30-40mins

This can also be done with processed rice, but it won’t get the same taste as the ingredients won’t get as much time to set.

Caribbean · Vegetarian

Caribbean Veggie Rundown

The first time I heard about the rundown it didn’t sound as something I’d like, but taste is a funny thing and when it comes to food you just have to taste your way to the descision. Sometimes things that sound as if the would clash (like strawberries and chilli) make excellent taste fusions.

A rundown is basically a mix of coconut, plantains and veggies and it can also contain chicken or shrimps. This is a quick version where we use Walkerswoods Rundown Sauce to make it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 green bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 2 chochos (christophenes), peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 escallion (spring onion) stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 okras, trimmed and sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 0,5 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 300ml Walkerswood Coconut Rundown Sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the sweet potatoes, bananas and chochos in a saucepan with enough water to cover.
  2. Boil for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain
  3. Heat the oil and then add the escallion, garlic, okras and tomatoes and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the boiled vegetables, allspice, tyme and coconut rundown sauce and cook until the sauce thickens slightly.
  5. Enjoy as it is or with rice!
Baking · Caribbean · Chicken · Fish · Meat · Vegetarian

Roti

Rotis are little breads that you fill with pretty much anything you can think of. I’ve tried them with chicken, shrimps, beef, goat and veggies. Chicken with beans is my personal favourite.

Oh, and btw… It’s not half as complicated to make as the directions might lead you to believe!

Ingredients:

  • 8oz wholemeal flour
  • 1 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ ozs unsalted (soy) margarine
  • cold water
  • vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Sift flour, cornmeal and baking powder into a bowl
  2. Rub in the (soy) margarine.
  3. Add the cold water, a tablespoon at a time to bind the dough. Knead until smooth and non-sticky.
  4. Cover the dough and leave in a warm place for half an hour.
  5. Knead again for 3–4 minutes and divide into four equal portions.
  6. On a floured surface roll out the portions into thin rounds.
  7. Lightly brush each one with a little vegetable oil, roll all of them out into a ball again and leave to rest, covered, for 15 minutes.
  8. Roll out again into thin 8-inch circles.
  9. Heat a heavy frying pay.
  10. Brush one side of the roti with vegetable oil and cook for 1 minute.
  11. Coat the other side with oil, turn it over and cook for another minute.
  12. Repeat this process turning the roti frequently until brown.
  13. Wrap in a towel to keep warn until the other roti are cooked.
  14. Cut a pocket in the rotis and fill them with something you like.