Mac n Cheese Bites


Happy Turkey Day Weekend! I hope you all had a great time with loved ones! Although I'm sure everyone has had their fill of beans, greens, potatoes, and tomatoes I wanted to share this thanksgiving recipe because it really is a game changer. And, although I made mine with the intention of deep frying, this recipe will work particularly well with leftover mac and cheese too! Please note, this recipe makes a whole sheet tray of deep fried mac and cheese, so be careful!

Ingredients

1 lb orzo

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp flour + 1 cup

3 1/2 cups milk

2 tsp pepper

1/2 onion

1 lb shredded Gruyere

1 lb shredded cheddar

1/2 lb grated Parmesan

salt to taste

2 large eggs

3 cups panko bread crumbs

canola oil for frying

(If you're using leftover mac and cheese, just skip to step 9)

1. Cook the orzo according to package instructions

2. Warm 2 cups of milk, pepper and 1/2 onion over low heat until almost simmering. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't actually boil while you make the roux. You should be able to smell the onion steeping and taste a hint of onion.

3. Make a roux by melting butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour until a thick paste forms and whisk constantly until it begins to look like wet sand, but still light in color. Remove from heat.

4. Add the warm milk to the roux and whisk to combine. Continue to whisk until it thickens.

5. Add the cheese in parts to the thickened liquid and whisk until its fully incorporated.

6. Strain the cooked pasta and stir into the cheese sauce.

7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

8. Dump orzo mixture onto parchment and spread evenly. Place in the freezer for at least an hour or up to overnight.

9. Remover from freezer and cut into 1.5 in. squares. Dipping your knife in hot water will allow you to easily cut through the frozen mac.

10. Make a breading station:

(1) egg wash - use remaining 1 1/2 cups milk and 2 eggs beaten until combined

(2) flour - seasoned with salt and pepper

(3) panko bread crumbs

11. Toss mac and cheese squares 5 at a time in flour, then egg wash, then panko and set aside on a fresh sheet of parchment paper and prepare for frying (you can also put back in the fridge)

12. Heat canola oil to 350 degrees in a large dutch oven or electric deep fryer.

13. Add mac and cheese squares in batches of 5 at a time and fry until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Remove to a sheet tray lined with paper towels. Season with salt and enjoy!