There are almost always exceptions to rules. For example, I don’t like overly arduous food prep. But…
These were so good, you guys! (Adapted from Food Network). Make a big batch to serve at a party, or freeze for a relatively quick-to-fry-up snack (I unearthed a long ago frozen batch of these on Monday – still tasty!).
Fried macaroni and cheese balls are decadent, crispy, creamy – and a hell of a comfort food. They pair well with ranch dressing. Or marinara sauce. Alfredo. Probably other sauces. I find that they go great with a nice beer (a stout is good)!
You need to start them a day ahead of when you plan to serve them. It sucks, I know – but the results are just so darn tasty. I actually used to be afraid of frying foods (much hot! so burn!), but these were worth donning long sleeves and oven mitts for (an improvement from the days where I’d also wear a scarf and sunglasses). And, admittedly, Brie was kind enough to make the first batch (and most of the second, I really only did the frying).
Here she is hard at work (her arm, at least):
I hope I haven’t scared you off of making them – they’re great, I promise. Go ahead. Try them.
- 1 pound macaroni (I used pasta shells and they worked great!)
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 2 cups whole milk (warmed in the microwave for about 2½ minutes), plus two Tablespoons refrigerated milk
- 1 pound cheddar (grated)
- 1 pound smoked Gouda (grated)
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups seasoned bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil (several cups for frying)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- Salt & Pepper
- Parchment paper
- Follow the instructions for the pasta, cook, drain, rinse in cold water, drain again, and set aside.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add in flour and whisk briskly for two minutes.
- Whisk in warm milk, carefully getting rid of any lumps. Cook for about 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Take off of heat, add in cheeses, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste, and stir until smooth.
- Fold the cheese mixture into the pasta, then transfer to a shallow pan and refrigerate for at least two hours.
- Shape the cold mac and cheese into meatball sized balls (about 1½" - 2" in diameter).
- Place on a parchment paper lined tray and freeze overnight.
- Beat together eggs and two Tablespoons of milk. Place bread crumbs in a second bowl.
- Dip the frozen macaroni and cheese balls into the egg wash and then coat generously with seasoned breadcrumbs. Return balls to the freezer until you are ready to fry them.
- Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Fry the mac and cheese balls (make sure they don't touch too much) for about 6 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve with Alfredo, ranch dressing, or marinara sauce (or all three!) and enjoy!
She lives in the Bay Area and cites her diverse background as her biggest influence: her visual artist mom is half-Chinese, half-Greek, and from Hawai’i; her film-loving, world-music curating dad is from Montana; and she lived in both California and Montana while growing up. She loves at least a little bit about virtually everything (Pokémon Snap included) and aims to be a Jane of all trades. By day Cat is a multiple-hat-wearing media person.
She is also allergic to felines.