It is Friday, everyone! Yep. That can only mean one thing and one thing only: it’s time to celebrate we made it through the week. And, we all know there is no better way to celebrate than by making something totally fantastic to eat.
I absolutely love mac & cheese when made from scratch. There is definitely nothing like it. However, I came across these mac & cheese bites at a pub I visited a while ago and I simply couldn’t stop thinking about them for weeks. I mean, what’s better than mac & cheese? Well, deep fried mac & cheese, of course! That’s basically what these mac & cheese bites are: deep fried mac & cheese chunks of goodness. Also known as edible pieces of heaven.
I must admit I am not a big fan of pub food but I just had to try making these at home. The result was amazing! These mac & cheese bites are, indeed, labour intensive. But, they are most definitely worth the effort. You will not think twice about making them again and again and again…
(Makes about 18 yummy portions)
3 cups macaroni, cooked al dente (you will need about 1 cup of uncooked pasta for this)
2 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups of milk
¼ of an onion, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
200 g of gruyere cheese, grated
1 tablespoon of parsley, finely chopped
All-purpose flour, as needed for breading
2 eggs, beaten
Panko, as necessary for breading
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Place the milk, cloves and bay leaf in small saucepan. Warm it up over low heat until you see a little bit of steam coming out. Do not allow it boil. Remove it from the heat, cover and let it sit for 10 minutes.
2. Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the 3 tablespoons of flour and keep stirring constantly until you get a paste that does not stick to the sides of the pan anymore. Add the milk gradually while stirring to create a thick, lump-free, white sauce. Add cheese. Gently stir until the cheese has melted. Adjust seasoning. Add macaroni and parsley. Bring everything together. Remove from heat. Allow it to cool for at least 1 hour.
3. Set up a breading station by placing three deep bowls next to each other. Place flour in the first one, the eggs in the second one and the panko in the third one. When breading, pass the mac & cheese through the flour first, the eggs second and the panko third.
4. Once the mac & cheese has cooled down, form balls the size of a golf ball. Pass then through the breading station twice. Refrigerate them for at least 2 hours.
5. Deep fry them until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Enjoy while they last!
- You can make these ahead of time and freeze them for up to 3 months. Freeze them after breading and deep fry when needed or craved.
- Make sure the oil is hot enough when deep frying. Otherwise, the mac & cheese will ooze out before they get a crispy crust on the outside.
- You can add bacon to these or any other ingredient you love to the mac & cheese. I sometimes add finely chopped roasted red peppers. Absolutely delish!
- If your white sauce ends up being lumpy, pass it through a strainer. No big deal!