Fried Mac & Cheese Bites
- Mac & Cheese
- 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, may need more
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon whole milk
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 regular breadcrumbs
- 1/2 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- olive oil for frying
Mac & Cheese
Rinse raw macaroni pasta in a colander and drain. Place macaroni pasta in a medium pot (about 4 quarts). Add milk, butter, ground mustard, salt and ground nutmeg).
Turn heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Be sure to stir frequently, do not leave pot of pasta and milk unattended. The mixture will come to a simmer and possible boil quickly. After it comes to a simmer or boil, turn heat down to low and keep stirring.
Cook until milk is mostly absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. (Taste macaroni, should be al dente. If not, add more milk about 2 Tablespoons at a time until macaroni is al dente.)
Add cheese and bacon (if using) and mix thoroughly. Cook on low heat for another 3 to 4 minutes.
Making Fried Mac & Cheese
Allow mac & cheese to cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for at least an hour or overnight.
Remove from refrigerator and using a medium cookie scoop (1.5 Tablespoons), scoop out macaroni and cheese and form into flat or ball-shaped pieces. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
Beat an egg in a shallow dish and add milk. Mix thoroughly and set aside. In another shallow dish, mix together both breadcrumbs, cheese, salt and dash of pepper.
Using your left hand, place macaroni & cheese pieces one at a time in the egg-milk mixture and then place into breadcrumb mixture. Using a spoon, drop mixture on top. Place covered mac & cheese pieces back onto baking sheet. While you're getting the oil ready, place baking sheet back in the freezer.
Add olive oil to nonstick skillet, about 1/4 inch layer to cover. Heat oil for 3 minutes on medium high.
Lower heat to medium and add macaroni and cheese bites, don't crowd the pan. Cook in two batches if needed. Cook for 2 minutes on first side and flip and cook for another 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Remove and place on paper towel lined plate and immediately sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately