Thursday, October 4

Fried Mac n' Cheese Bites

Here comes fall/winter and nothing says fall/winter like parties. Office parties, Halloween parties, Holiday parties, you name it, everyone likes to party these next three months. And with parties comes food, lots and lots of food. If your looking for a sure fire way to be the best host or bring the stunning dish everyone has to try, try frying up some mac n' cheese.

Mac n' cheese is a very reminiscent food for many people, remind us of childhood and carefree days gone by. Turning it into a adult friendly finger food, well that just elevates it to the next level. I enjoy serving these in a nice, pick up size. Roughly two bites each. However feel free to shrink them down to a nice one bite size and skewer them! Serve plain or next to a dipping sauce, I recommend a nice Spiced Mayo sauce. (included recipe for this).

Now here is the one trick behind making this, use boxed mac n' cheese. I know, I am the person who says homemade is better. Homemade is healthier and homemade is just as easy. Well, confession with this one, Boxed is better. Homemade mac n' cheese is heavier than the boxed kind. So for a lighter less dense bite use the boxed mix.

Full time: 5 hours (you need 4 1/2 hours to prepare mac n' cheese and then let it cool)
Makes 25 bites

You will need:

1 box mac and cheese, plus butter and milk called for on box
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tsp water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white or black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Oil for frying

For Dipping Sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
1/2 salt
1/2 tsp ground white or black pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder

Let us begin:

Prepare you mac n' cheese according to the instructions on the box.

While this cooks, lightly grease a 9 x 9 baking dish.

Once prepared press the mac n' cheese into the baking dish. Trying to get it as packed as possible.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 4 hours to cool down.

Once the mac n' cheese is cooled we can now start the bite process.

Remove baking dish from refrigerator and slice into 25 pieces. (Five rows by five rows)

Turn over onto wax paper and give the pan a good table tap, it should come out of tray. If not, gently pop them out one at a time. Let them stand for a moment.

I like to spread them out for easy grab space when dipping.

While these rest, let's set up the dipping station.

Mix flour, salt, pepper and cayenne together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Beat the egg and water together in a small bowl, set aside next to the flour bowl.

Pour panko into a small bowl, set aside next to egg bowl.

Place a wire rack at the end of your bowl line.

To dip the bites, start by rolling them gently in the flour and lightly tap off the excess.

Now roll floured bite into the egg.

Carefully move egged bite into the panko and coat evenly.

Set bite on wired rack and finish remaining bites.

Once all bites are coated, let them sit for a moment or two.

While these rest up, get 1 1/2" of oil heating in a saute pan to 375'. If you dont have a thermometor, drop a small clump of panko in, if the sides sizzle its ready.

Gently moved 5-6 bites into the oil and fry to a nice golden brown, rotating once for even color. About 5 minutes.

Remove bites back to wire rack and let excess oil drip off.

Sevre and enjoy!

For the great tangy dipping sance I like to serve alongside this:

Bland all sauce ingredtients in a bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in refigerator to meld together for a few hours.