Bahamian Macaroni and Cheese
This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors (yellow, orange, green, red, chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique, distinctively fruity flavor. It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.
- 1 (16 oz.) package elbow macaroni
- 2 (12 oz.) cans evaporated milk
- 1½ lbs. or 3 (8 oz.) packages, or 6 cups cheddar cheese, grated, divided
- 2 Tbsps. onion, finely minced
- 2 Tbsps. green bell pepper, finely minced (or 3-4 Bellafina)
- 1 habanero pepper, seeded, deveigned, finely minced
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. paprika for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bring a pot of water to a high boil. Cook the macaronis according to package instructions for al dente minus 3 minutes. I cooked mine 3 minutes. The package said 6 to reach al dente.
- Meanwhile, mince the onion, bell pepper, and habanero pepper. Heat the evaporated milk in a sauce pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes. You don’t want to boil it, just heat it.
- Drain the macaroni and return them to the pot. Stir in the warm milk, onions, peppers, and ½ the cheese.
- Allow to cool 2 minutes.
- Transfer macaroni to a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and pour the beaten eggs on top. Use a fork or spoon to work them into the macaronis a little. You don’t need to stir them, just distribute them and let them settle in a bit.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Sprinkle with paprika.
- Bake 35-40 minutes.