NYE Appetizer: Mac n' Cheese Bites

December 28, 2012

Mac n' Cheese bites are a homey appetizer.  If you are going for comfort rather than style this New Year's Eve, these fried morsels of cheesy goodness are the perfect party food.  Balls of rich mac n' cheese are dredged in bread crumbs and then fried until golden brown.  They are guaranteed to be gobbled by all your guests.

Fried Mac n' Cheese Bites

Ingredients:

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon paprika
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Coating:
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten with
2 tablespoons water
1 cup breadcrumbs, preferably Japanese panko
oil (for deep frying)
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
 
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
 
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter.
 
Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes.
 
Stir in milk and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes.
 
Temper in the egg.
 
Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
 
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.
 
Cut refrigerated macaroni and cheese into slices or bite size pieces (should be overnight)
 
Season the flour with cayenne, salt,and pepper.
 
Dredge each piece through the flour mixture and gently tap off extra.
 
Dip in the egg wash and then coat with the bread crumbs.
 
Allow them to rest for 5 minutes so the crust can set.
 
Very carefully drop into the oil and fry until golden brown.
 
Drain on paper towels for a few minutes or place on a rack with a cookie sheet underneath.

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