I usually make my casseroles truly “Western-style” – full of ground meats, dried herbs like oregano, thyme and parsley, and a lot of cheese. A while back Kak’mbang asked me to try making baked macaroni casserole “Malay-style,” which uses common local spices and eggs as the primary binding agent. Every now and then I’d surf the net for recipe ideas, but nothing really caught my fancy. In fact, honestly I disliked many of the ones I’ve tried before. Either the spices were overpowering, or folks would add really strange stuff like chili sauce and mayo to the casserole. Nnno.
Last year, a week before Aidilfitri celebrations we visited Mak Long (Rudy’s aunt) for buka puasa. She made her legendary nasi ulam, which was amazing and desperately needs to be immortalized in these pages at some point…
…but I digress. After a huge meal for breaking fast, while beaching myself like a whale on the couch I browsed through Mak Long’s cookbooks, and chanced upon her handwritten cookbook. This was her own personal collection of recipes tried and tested through years of experience in the kitchen. I immediately tossed the other books aside and began flipping through the pages. So many recipes looked interesting, and I snapped as many photos of these pages using my phone. This baked macaroni casserole was one of the recipes I captured.
Mak Long did not disappoint. This casserole is full of yummy meat and vegetables, and uses just the right balance of cheese and egg so that it’s not too rich. My family devoured it. A wonderful one-pot meal, perfect for potlucks or to be made-ahead for weeknight dinners. Do give it a try and enjoy!
Thanks Mak Long!