Macaroni au gratin (Baked Macaroni)

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What would a Sunday Haitian dinner be without  Macaroni au gratin?
One of my classmates in College was surprised at how  interestingly different this tasted from Mac&Cheese.
I brought a “slice” to school with me for lunch a few years back (it was a piece of leftovers) and I cared to share it with her.
She asked for more . So, I’ll share my own version of the recipe with you!
You might want to prepare this when you’re having a family dinner since it serves far more than 4 people.

Ingredients

  • One box of Macaroni (in my case, I used Fusilli/Rotini pasta but you can use others like Cavatappi , Manicotti, Rigatoni, Penne, Conchiglie(my favorite) or Farfalloni(I think this one is fun) )
  • One leek
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • 1tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 tbsps of butter
  • 2 tbsps of flour
  • 2 cubes of maggi (or simply season with salt and pepper)
  • 2 cups of evaporated milk
  • onions, green bell peppers
  • Any meat of your choice ( ham, turkey, sausage, ground beef, hot dog)
  • 2 cups of grated/shreded Fromage tete-de-maure  (Known as Edam cheese originally from Holland).—> Key ingredient. But you can also use any cheese of your choice! I used Parmesan

Directions

  1. Boil your pasta with leek, a pinch of salt, garlic and olive oil until tender.
  2. Once cooked, set aside. Cut a piece of butter and stir it in the pasta. This prohibits the strands to stick to each other (also adds a little flavor to it).
  3. Melt 3tbsps of butter in a saucepan over medium heat
  4. Add your onions and stir until translucent .
  5. Add your flour to the mixture, stir
  6. Then add the milk. Whisk your mixture thoroughly without stopping. It must have a creamy texture before you stop. If you stop whisking without a good consistency, you will have lumps of flour in your mixture. Add green bell peppers (chopped in dices) and the meat of your choice.
  7. Turn off the fire. Add your pasta to your creamy mixture and season to taste. (maggi, salt, cilantro, Adobo, black pepper, basil, garlic, even scotch bonnet pepper to spice it up)
  8. Add at least 1 cup of cheese to your macaroni.
  9. Pour it all in a Pyrex container and cover entirely with the remaining cup of grated Edam Cheese.
    You can also cut a few squares of butter and place them on top of the cheese.
  10. Cook at 350F in the oven.

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