The Bahamas loves macaroni and cheese as much as I do! It was brought over to the Bahamas by the British and of course they have made it their own. Their variety is baked with bell peppers in it. They serve it as a side dish and always have it for special occasions. I find a recipe that takes their traditional mac and cheese and adds crab. Okay that does sound odd, but it is a dinner party and so why not add the additional flare!
The first step is to make the crab mousse. You just combine all the ingredients. It seems to be much more like a crab slaw than a mousse, but it looks good.
For the mac and cheese you first boil the vegetables with the pasta. Then the rest is a standard method of creating a cheese sauce pour it into a pan
and then bake. The result is yummy! It is one of the cheesiest mac and cheese I have ever had. The bell peppers I think help keep the cheesiness up. The crab mousse actually pairs perfectly with the mac and cheese and definitely elevates the dish. This I am making again!
I also made a side dish of okra. My family is from the south and I love fried okra. One of the reasons you fry it is to get the sliminess out. I actually have never cooked with okra so I’m excited to try to make this simple salad.
I cut the okra
I prepare the okra frying and cooking in water, but they are slimy. I then bake them for 20 minutes thinking it will dry them out a bit, but no help. I start to panic as I don’t think I can serve this. So I go to the trusty internet and start to read online. I find out that the reason that lime is added is the acid of the lime cuts the sliminess. So, I do this and it works!
It is still a bit slimy as that is okra. The okra is yummy, simple and full of flavor. I giggle at myself getting in a panic when I should just follow instructions.
Speaking of laughter, my first night home after surgery I went to bed listening to my brother and my friend Jeff laughing. It was a great feeling to hear two people I really love and care about enjoying each other. I did have to remind them to keep it down. My neighbors are still pretty mad at me from my pre-surgery partying and another school night party will probably make them mad. So I encouraged them to go to a bar, they are hesitant to leave me. I explained to them that I’m just going to take my sleeping pill and go to bed and I will be fine for the few hours they’re out. This did the trick and they went to a bar.
As the house is quiet I lay in my bed and realize it was nice to be home and nice to be in my bed. I laid flat on my back as I still can’t roll on my side and finally nod off to sleep. I woke up early in the morning in excruciating pain.! I try not to move to see if the pain will subside and it doesn’t. I panic and start to cry. After a few moments I get the courage to try and sit up to get my pain medicine. Every slight movement sends another shock of pain through my chest. After what seemed like an hour long struggle I have the pain pill bottle in my hand and tears streaming down my cheeks. I now have to get my sippy cup. Yes I mean a little kid sippy cup, it is awesome for surgery. I don’t have to worry about spills and can lay it down anywhere so it is always close. I took my pills and lie very still waiting for the pain to subside. After about 2 hours the pain slowly started to come back. I take another pill. I’m never really out of pain, but if I lay still it seems manageable.
Jeff’s wife Jan, who is a doctor, came by to check on me. She looked at my dressing and everything looked fine. She asked how the pain was and I tell her how I have been rationing my pain meds. The medication was prescribed two pills for every 4 hours. However the pain comes back in 2 hours and by hour 3 it is not manageable. So I found taking 1 pill every 2 hours will keep it at a dull pain. Jan is shocked and explains that I shouldn’t feel anything. So she calls my doctor and they figure out a stronger prescription that will be accepted by my insurance. I took the new pills and it is much better! I slept through the next night and didn’t have a moment where I am in tons of pain.
Well this concludes Bahamas. I actually like everything I made. Probably because I stayed away from the flavors I’m not a fan of. I was surprised by the combinations of things. I may start trying new adventurous combinations or just move onto the the next country which is Bahrain.
Bahamian Baked Macaroni and Cheese with a Crab Mousse Stuffing
Original recipe can be found here
- 5 cups penne pasta
- 2 lbs grated organic yellow cheddar cheese
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 2 stalks of celery (chopped)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (Divided)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- cooking spray
- 4 ounces high-quality shredded crab meat
- 1/2 lime
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
- dash of cayenne
- For crab mousse, in a medium bowl, combine crab meat, 1/3 of chopped onion, 1/3 red pepper, 1/3 of a celery, lime, mayonnaise, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.
- Add remaining onion, pepper & celery. Boil for about 5 minutes.
- Add pasta. Bring heat down to medium. S immer for about 15 minutes (until pasta is cooked).
- Drain- off excess water.
- Place pasta, onion, sweet pepper & celery back into pot. Turn off heat.
- Add cream, butter, cheese & eggs. Mix until all the ingredients bind/melt (smooth consistency).
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
- To serve top with crab mousse.
Original recipe can be found here
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1lb okra (caps snapped)
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- 2 tablespoon lime
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 dashes of crystal hot sauce
- In frying pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil.
- Add okra and saute for 3 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Add water cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Drain if needed.
- Mix together the okra, remaining oil, lime, garlic, and hot sauce.