Mac ‘N’ Cheese : A Hit At Soul Food Iftars

American Muslim Author, Khadijah Abdul-Haqq, shares her Macaroni and Cheese Recipe.

 

 

African American food is as diverse as America herself. We have a long history of making amazing comfort food from the worst ingredients and making the best composites taste even better. Food prepared in Ramadan is a celebration of family, unity and resilience.

As Black Americans flood the folds of Islam, they bring them a plethora of history, culture and food lineage. We have comforted one another at the tables of our grandparents and other elders in the community. And at the crux of that comfort is soul food.

Comfort food also known as soul food is a warm blanket—the reassurance that no matter what we are going through whether it be slavery, Jim Crow, Mass incarceration or police brutality, we will survive. And food will help us do it.

The Reason For The Crown

Arguably, the King of soul food is Macaroni and Cheese—Mac ‘n’ Cheese to some—with some fried chicken or a potato salad being top contenders. However, as a proponent of Mac ‘n’ Cheese being King I would offer the argument that mac ‘n’ cheese could be considered a complete Ramadan meal.

The other soul foods need complimentary protein or sides to be considered complete. It is noteworthy to mention that it is an unwritten rule of the African American community that if your fried chicken, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, or potato salad isn’t cooked to perfection (which is normally not cooked using measurements) then you do not belong in the kitchen.

To that end, I humbly offer you my Mac’s recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 oz.) box of elbow macaroni
  • 1-1 1/2 8oz. cans of evaporated milk
  • 2 – 3 eggs
  • 1 (8 oz.) block of sharp cheddar cheese (for convenience you may use pre-shredded cheese, but know it is considered cheating!)
  • 1 (8 oz.) block of mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8 oz.) of mozzarella cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • ½ cup of butter

Method

1. Boil elbow macaroni with a teaspoon of salt to al dente.

2. Shred cheeses on a cheese grater. If you have a two-sided grater, use the side with the largest holes.

3. Beat 2 eggs with a ¼ cup of evaporated milk and add ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper to the mixture.

4. When the macaroni has finished boiling, add the cheeses, the egg mixture and butter.

5. Stir until all the cheeses melt.

6. Add the milk until creamy, then proceed with the garlic and onion powder. ½ a tablespoon of each should suffice. Then, add salt and pepper. The rule for salt is if you think there is enough add more. You don’t want to overburden the senses, but you don’t want it to be bland either.

7. Bake on 400 Fahrenheit for 35-45 minutes. Checking occasionally.

The secret to good Mac ‘n’ Cheese are the edges. We want the edges to be firm and a tad crunchy but not burnt. Voilà!

 

Bio: Khadijah Abdul-Haqq is married and a mother of five living in Tennessee, USA. She is a lover of the creative arts including literature as well as her new love, painting. She has written four books, yet her children’s book Naani’s Hijab is the first to have been published. Check out her blog titled Ramblings of an unconventional Muslimah.

 

 

Pictures by Taste of Home & Pamela’s Products.

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