In Hawaii macaroni salad is served in plate lunch. Plate lunch is similar to southern meat and three. However in Hawaii for plate lunch you really only pick the meat; the sides are always a scoop of rice and macaroni salad. It is believed that plate lunch came about during the plantation times and was started from the concept of the bento box. Back then they had rice and meat and later macaroni salad was added to bridge the two.
When I was a kid I didn’t really like macaroni salad. I love food, but I am actually a picky eater. I don’t like beans, avocados, blue cheese, and pineapple to name a few things. So when Shane wanted to cook dinner for me I was a bit nervous for him as I didn’t want him to fail.
Shane and I have been on a few dates since I first met him. He is easy to talk to, fun to be around, and I feel comfortable. He is not the cutest guy that I am dating as he is balding and has a big belly, but I always feel immediately comfortable around him and forget all the superficial stuff.
He is ridiculously excited about showing me his culinary chops and I am excited just to spend time with him. I call him the night before as he is running around getting ingredients for this meal and I tease him that I expect this to be a 7-course meal and better top our recent dining experience at Nico’s. He teases me back that his going to make a blue cheese, banana, and avocado sandwich… Gross!
This is the first time I have been to his apartment. It is a nice place. There is a single room that is his living room, kitchen, and dining space. The kitchen is small but it is open to the rest of the area. Shane’s bedroom is in the back of the apartment. There is a stairwell that leads upstairs to his roommate’s room. I get there a bit early for dinner to avoid traffic and I have a few things that I need to finish for work. So he pours me a glass of wine, I work on my laptop, and he keeps cooking. His roommate comes downstairs and I meet him. I start to get into my introverted ways and feel a bit uncomfortable with his roommate there. Shane seems perfectly comfortable. I sip my wine and use my keyboard as a distraction.
When he is ready to start serving the first course, his roommate finally leaves and I am able to get comfortable. I am odd that way. This feels like a private moment and having a perfect stranger there throws me off. Shane ends up creating a 5 course meal. The first course is a flat bread. It is a complicated bite, but yummy. Then it is a tomato soup and grilled cheese. He made the grilled cheese with smoked mozzarella, which is my favorite. Then a simple salad. For the main course it is mussels and chorizo. Then finally a simple berry fruit dessert. The food is good. Portions are a bit big for me and I’m stuffed. But it is so nice how much thought and time he but into the meal.
After the meal we chat and finish the bottle of wine. We move from the table to his couch. It was an amazing night. The conversation never died down. We chatted about nothing in particular but all was engrossing at the time. There is this moment when I come back from the restroom and see him sitting on the couch. I think happily to myself this is going to be my man. I then have another thought and it is of sheer terror that I am going to die if I date him. I move past the terror, sit down next to him have a sip of wine and snuggle against him. Maybe I found a boyfriend and hopefully this fact won’t kill me.
Well now there was a tangent; let me get back to the macaroni salad. I have always avoided this dish, but made it once for a Hawaiian dinner party I was having and finally became a fan. I don’t know that I can eat any macaroni salad, but I do enjoy this one.
The first step is to cook the macaroni. You actually want to over cook the macaroni as it will soak up the dressing better. Then poor in the vinegar and let the macaroni soak up the vinegar.
Next mix together the ingredients for the dressing.
Poor in half the dressing into the noodles and let it sit over night.
About an hour before serving, cut the vegetables and mix together with the remaining sauce.
It is rich and creamy, with some tang from the vinegar, bite from the onion, and crunch from the celery.
Original recipe can be found here
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 4 green onions, finely sliced
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Add vinegar and stir until completely absorbed. Let pasta stand until cool, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, mustard, lemon juice, hot sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Add half of the dressing and stir until well coated and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
- About an hour before serving, stir in remaining dressing celery, shallots, scallions, salt and pepper.