Friday, June 22, 2007

My Mom's Marvelous Macaroni Salad

Just a little alliteration there :-)

This recipe is inspired by my mom's version but somehow, I can never duplicate that perfect balance of sweet, salty and tangy that made her macaroni salad a favorite of many a gathering.

But this version of mine has been a hit many times too and so tomorrow, for a picnic of 40 people, this will be my contribution.

A word of warning: this recipe will feed an army.

Macaroni Salad

900 grams macaroni, cooked according to package directions

large can (540 ml) of crushed pineapple, drained well

1 bottle (375 ml) sweet pickle relish, drained well

1 bottle pimiento (cooked red peppers bottled in water), chopped/minced

1 large jar (950 ml) Hellman's low fat mayo (or full fat if you so desire)

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (use less if using regular table salt)

1 tsp. ground pepper

1 whole chicken


1. Boil chicken in salted water, cool, shred (do not include the skin and, obviously, the bones), then set aside.

2. Mix together the mayo, pineapple, pickles, pimiento, salt, sugar and pepper.

3. Let the dressing stand for about half an hour to let the seasoning meld together.

4. Mix together the macaroni, dressing and chicken.

5. Serve well chilled. Tastes better the next day.

A few notes. When you boil the chicken, you can add a quartered onion and a couple of stalks of celery to the boiling water. Don't forget to salt. Salting the cooking water is also very important when cooking the macaroni so you don't end up with tasteless pasta. Don't overcook the macaroni and don't rinse after cooking. There's nothing worse than mushy or watery pasta in a salad. Drain everything well (pasta, pineapple, relish, pimiento) before mixing together. This will prevent your dressing for becoming too runny. And lastly, taste the dressing before mixing in the chicken and macaroni. It's definitely easier to adjust the seasoning before you put in the "solids" and the seasoning will mix in more evenly if you do it before putting the salad all together.

A few other notes not related to the recipe above. When I prep onions, carrots, and celery for other dishes, I always put the small bits and scraps in a ziplock bag which I then stash in the freezer. I'll also freeze the celery leaves and the outer layer of the onion. When I make stock, I then have my aromatics always ready to throw into my stock pot. I also freeze chicken bones from grocery rotisserie chicken and home-cooked roast chicken. It's perfect for making stock and is definitely better than the store bought stock/broth.

Ok, I think that's all for now. Gotta pack for that picnic...


Junji said...

...dapat, my mom's marvelous macaroni malad... :)

adrian said...
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adrian said...

Ang dami mo nang nalagay na recipe! Maybe you can have some guest contributors also, hehehe. I can contribute my recipe for yummy Bagnet :P

Rodrigo said...
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