It's been about a month since I've been back from our trip out west. Time to overcome my temporary lethargy and share the experience. It was a great time, despite sitting in the van for 8-hour stretches. I'll get to that.
The purpose of this trip was for our friends to show us their side of the country - Beautiful British Columbia. We would be flying from Ottawa to Vancouver, then visiting Victoria, Nanaimo, Whistler, Prince George and ultimately Prince Rupert for some salmon fishing with my friend's Uncle John and Aunt Sally, on their commercial fishing boat.
We left Ottawa bright and early on a Wednesday and were lucky enough to have a direct flight to Vancouver. We landed and made our way to the baggage carousel. A quick trip to the washroom allowed the speedy baggage handlers enough time to have our bags circling when I returned. Wow, that is very efficient. I could tell you stories about my own hometown airport, but I'm sure you've all experienced it.
We picked up our rental car and made our way to our first stop. We would be staying with friends (my traveling companion's sister, husband and two kids) in Shaughnessy - which was very nice of them to allow us to crash there. We had decided that we would cook them dinner as a thank you. A quick stop at the local Safeway (by the way, I find the groceries in Vancouver to cost significantly more than Ontario - yikes), then to the Provincially run beverage depot and back home.
I had brought some jerk seasoning with me and we were preparing to get to making some jerk chicken when I realized that it wasn't jerk seasoning after all, but some ground fennel and ground coriander seed which I use for roasting lamb. Drat. At this point, the four of us were pretty lazy, so we decided to make do with what was in our hosts' kitchen. I created a pretty mean jerk, with only what she had in her kitchen (plus stuff I bought at Safeway which I knew I would need). Fresh ginger, scallions, garlic, shallots, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, limes, jalapeno pepper, nutmeg, cloves, salt, pepper - it was a hodge podge of ingredients, but I managed to tweak it just enough so that it mimicked what I was trying to accomplish. It was ready.
While the jerk was being created, the boys were breaking down a couple of whole chickens. When the chicken was ready, it was slathered in the seasoning and left to marinate for about four hours. To accompany our chicken would be some macaroni pie. I don't make it too often at home for I am weak and would, without shame, eat the entire casserole container in one sitting. I'm just saying, I know myself.
Our grilled jerk chicken and macaroni pie dinner was a hit and we turned in early. I was tired from the flight, plus the time change, and it was an early rise in the morning to get onto the ferry
Here is my macaroni pie recipe:
Macaroni Pie (Barbados Style)
8 oz macaroni noodles (by weight)
8 oz extra old cheddar, cubed (by weight)
8 oz evaporated milk (by liquid measure)
1 medium cooking onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
2 teaspoons dried mustard
1 tablespoon of butter
Optional: paprika, grated cheese or panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Prepare a 2L casserole dish using either cooking spray or oil the dish using cooking oil and paper towel (you do not have to do this, however, if you plan on returning your cookware to its original glory, it's probably a good idea
- Boil macaroni according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce
- (Using a blender makes the sauce much easier to make and clean up a breeze (and no grated knuckles))
- To the blender, add the milk, onion, ketchup, mustard and dried mustard
- Blend until pureed
- Lower the speed, remove the stopper from the lid of the blender and drop each cube of cheese into the blender while the motor is running
- Add each subsequent piece of cheese when the previous piece is blended
- Reserve for hot macaroni
- When pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the pan with the heat turned off
- Stir in the butter until melted
- Add cheese sauce and stir to combine
- If desired, sprinkle top with paprika, cheese or panko bread crumbs (I personally like it as is)
- Bake for 35 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
Note: Use good quality cheeses and pasta when making this dish. It is a dish which relies on the taste of these simple ingredients for flavour. Try it, you'll see the difference.
|How I like to fly :-)|