So last week’s recipe had me daydreaming about the ladies who lunch, but this week’s takes me down home to what I (probably) really am – the happy hour queen. And trust me, that is a hat I wear with pride.
While my fellow bloggers might be writing about school lunches and afternoon snacks right now, I think there is a group of people who are so often forgotten.
Teachers, I’m lookin’ at you. While the kids still have some summer left, I know the teachers in my town are already mentally preparing themselves for back-to-school.
And the same goes for the rest of us that might need a drink and a delicious bite to eat after work.
I mentioned I was the happy hour queen – nothing makes me happier than sitting down with my bff, a couple of cosmos and these fried macaroni and cheese bites while we unload the week.
It’s incredibly cathartic and delicious.
As for this recipe, it makes a lot – a lot lot – of macaroni bites. My biggest suggestion is to make it and serve half to your family the night before, then chill the leftovers to bread and fry later. Even half of the recipe makes about 20 bites.
Alternatively, make and fry the whole thing for a large party. They’re easy to keep warm in a 200 oven until party time. I love serving them with ranch, jalapeno ranch and sriracha. But I’m sure there are plenty of tasty combinations out there.
What do you like? I’d love to hear it!
Until next time. X
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Fried Macaroni and Cheese Bites
Take a load off with these awesome fried macaroni and cheese bites. Great as an appetizer or to serve at a party – and the macaroni itself is delicious on its own.
- 4 c. water
- 2 TB unsalted butter
- 1 TB whole grain or dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 lb dried macaroni
- 12 oz. evaporated milk
- 1 lb american cheese, sliced from the deli counter
- 1 c. shredded smoked gouda
- 1/2 c. AP flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. panko breadcrumbs
- peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
- In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, mustard, sriracha and salt to a boil. Add the macaroni and boil, uncovered, to al dente (according to package directions), stirring occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick.
- Turn heat to low and add the evaporated milk, then slowly start tearing and adding the american cheese a couple slices at a time. Wait for the cheese to melt before adding more, slowly, until both the american and gouda are fully melted.
- At this point, feel free to serve half warm as is and reserve the other half for frying. Half of the recipe makes about 20 macaroni bites.
- Chill, covered, in the fridge 2-4 hours or overnight, until firm.
- Heat the oil in a deep fryer (or heavy skillet with about an inch of oil) to 350°F.
- In the bowl of a processor or grinder, pulse the breadcrumbs a few times to get a smoother texture. Alternatively, place the breadcrumbs in an airtight resealable bag and hammer a few times to break up the pieces of panko.
- Lay out three shallow bowls in your work area. Place the flour in one. In another, beat the eggs. And in the last, mix the breadcrumbs with a pinch of salt.
- With a strong handled spoon, scoop out rounded tablespoons of the chilled macaroni and cheese and shape into balls. Dip in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, then back in the eggs and breadcrumbs again. With each dip, make sure the macaroni is coated fully and the excess is shaken off.
- Fry 30 seconds – 1 minute, until the outside is golden brown and the center is nice and gooey.
- Serve warm, immediately, with jalapeno ranch, ranch, sriracha or another tasty dip.
If needing to keep warm for a party, they should do just fine on a sheet pan in a 200°F oven.
- Serving Size: 2
Recipe adapted from Dad Cooks Dinner
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