One of the dishes I made for this year’s FryFest is a new recipe – fried mac & cheese. I used my Cabot Creamery Seriously Sharp Cheddar Mac N Cheese recipe as the base for this decadent dish. I know these treats are tyically served in a ball shape, but since I was also doing Arancini, rice balls, I opted for squares and really liked the look of them.
Was it the healthiest food option? Clearly not. Is it okay to sample a piece or two once a year? I believe so – all in moderation. The crunchy, deep golden exterior is a perfect match to the creamy, cheesy interior. I served this dish with a simple marinara sauce for dipping, but it’s delish on its own.
½ stick (4 Tbsp.) butter
- 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. each, ground nutmeg, salt and pepper
- 4 cups whole milk or light cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 cups freshly grated Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar
- 1 pound tubular pasta (I use Delverde Tortiglioni) boiled 2 minutes less than directed on the packaging, drained
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
- Place butter in a large, heavy saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add flour and cook for about 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Stir the milk (or light cream) and the heavy cream into the butter/flour mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, whisking frequently.
- Add the cheese, a handful at a time, and stir until fully incorporated.
- Add the drained pasta to the cheese sauce and mix well.
- Add cheesy pasta to a lightly greased 13×9 baking dish, cool, cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight (what I did).
- Using a wide spatula, unmold the cold mac and cheese from the pan and place the rectangle on a cutting board. Cut the mac and cheese into 2-inch squares, place on a baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs.
- In a shallow dish, combine both bread crumbs.
- Dip squares into the egg mixture then dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
- Fry mac and cheese squares for 3-4 minutes in 350 degree oil in either a large Dutch oven or in an electric fryer in batches. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.
Makes about 24 squares.