Comforting Jerk Macaroni and Cheese

Photo by Grace Cameron

Issue 3, 2017

Mac & cheese isn’t exactly Caribbean, but it’s a popular comfort food. Make an ‘irie’ version jazzed up with flavours of the Caribbean.

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 13 ozs. aged Cheddar cheese, grated and divided
  • 6 ozs. penne pasta
  • 1 tsp chili powder (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, seeded, veins removed and minced
  • 1 stalk scallion, chopped and divided
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 2 tsp seasoned pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground pimento
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 drop each lime and oil

Direction

  1. Cook pasta in large pot according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
  2. Saute the Scotch bonnet pepper and escallion in a pan until soft – 2 mins.
  3. Melt butter and whisk in the flour. Keep cook and whisking for 2 more mins.
  4. Slowly add milk in a thin stream, whisking until its incorporated. Keep cooking and whisking, until the sauce begins to thicken. About 5 mins.
  5. Remove pot from the stove and add the sautéed pepper, escallion, spices, molasses, lime and oil.
  6. Mix together and adjust seasonings to taste. Stir in half the cheese until it melts.
  7. Add cooked pasta to the pot and mix to combine.
  8. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a greased baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  9. Bake at 350 degree  F for 20 mins. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 mins. before serving.
  10. Garnish mac and cheese with remaining escallion, if desired.

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-By JamaicanEats magazine

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