Macaroni au Gratin
Macaroni au Gratin is not just made one way. Haitians from different regions of the country will add a few of their own favorite ingredients, especially meat ingredients. It is not uncommon for Haitians to put ham or chicken in their Macaroni au Gratin, for example. But the most common ingredients include salt, onions, peppers, evaporated milk, and butter.Do you like macaroni and cheese? If so, then you will love this Haitian version of it. It is actually a French dish that was introduced to Haiti during their colonization period. If you love two different cheeses in your macaroni and cheese, then this is the dish for you. It has gouda cheese, parmesan cheese and a variety of other ingredients that make this dish melt in your mouth. However, that is not even the main difference between western macaroni and cheese and this Haitian version. The main difference has to do with the noodles that are used. Haitian macaroni and cheese features rigatoni or penne noodles instead of the traditional elbows. The Haitians also look to put mayonnaise in their mac and cheese, which might sound unusual to a westerner.
- 2 Packs of Pasta (rigatoni or penne) (1 lb. or 16 oz. each)
- 16 Cups of Water
- 1 ½ tsp 1 ½ tsp. of Seasoned Salt
- 2 tbsp of Butter
- 2 (12 oz. of each) Cans of Evaporated Milk
- ½ Cup of Finely Chopped Onions
- 1/3 Cup of Finely Chopped Bell Peppers
- 1 Garlic Clove (crushed)
- 1 Cup of Mayonnaise
- 2 Cups of Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 3 Cups of Gouda (Dutch) cheese
- Pour 16 cups of water into a large pot. Add salt to the water. Turn on the heat of the stove and wait for the water to start boiling. Once it does, add the pasta to the boiling water. It should take between 10 and 15 minutes for the pasta to turn soft.
- After the pasta turns soft in the boiling water, place a strainer in the sink and dump the water and pasta into the strainer. Place the pasta aside for a few moments.
- Turn on the oven. Set the temperature to 350℉ and leave it on.
- Put the large pot back on the stove and set it to medium heat. Add bell peppers, onions, garlic, and sauté better to the pot. Stir it around and let it cook for 2 minutes. The peppers should be tender by that point.
- Take the strainer filled with pasta and dump it into the large pot. Mix the pasta around with the other ingredients in the pot. Pour the can of evaporated milk into the pot and stir everything together. Now add the grated parmesan, mayonnaise, seasoned salt, and gouda cheese, Mix everything together. The salt is optional, but some people might want it to enhance the flavor of the dish.
- Take out a rectangular baking dish that is 15”x10”x2” and place it on the counter. Begin pouring the mixture from the pot into the baking dish. Tryto fill the entire area of the rectangle and spread it out to each side. If you have any gouda or parmesan cheese left, then add that to the top later in the dish.
- Now put the uncovered baking dish on the middle rack of the oven. Leave it in there for anywhere between 45 to 60 minutes. The top of the dish should become golden brown by that point.
- Take the dish out of the oven and let it cool down for about 10 minutes. Then you can serve the food to yourself or anyone else in your party.