Macaroni salad was always one of those things I bought pre-packaged at the deli (blech, I know!). The concept seemed simple enough; pasta, veggies, mayonnaise based sauce. But, somehow it always went horribly wrong – managing to be a clumpy gloopy mess, but also still dry. I had given up hope, until I came across a recipe from a source I can always trust.
In Hawaii, where macaroni salad is a staple when it comes to plate lunches, it’s been a long known secret that you intentionally overcook the pasta – to make it “fat”. It helps it to really soak up the sauce, and keep the pasta moist and delicious. It makes a large batch that is perfect to take to a cookout. Or, for a simple dinner at home with some grilled barbequed chicken. Leftovers were great too! With a little grilled tuna or chicken, and some diced fresh pineapple tossed it – made for an awesome lunch.
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups mayonaise
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery rib, chopped fine
To make dressing, whisk 1-1/2 cups milk, 1 cup mayonnaise, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper in a bowl.
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and pasta and cook until very soft, about 15 minutes. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add vinegar and toss until absorbed. Transfer to a bowl. Cool pasta 10 minutes,then stir in dressing until pasta is well coated. Cool completely.
Add scallions, carrot, celery, remaining 1/2 cup milk and remaining 1/2 cup of mayonnaise to pasta mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. Serve.
Source: Cook’s Country, June 2009