If you like fried junk food, these Fried Mac ‘n’ Cheese Balls will be perfect for you ;)
For the mac ‘n’ cheese:
10.5 oz. (300g) short pasta (e.g. mini elbow macaroni)
2 tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups (600ml) milk, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper, cayenne pepper
7 oz. (200g) sharp cheddar, grated
3.5 oz. (100g) Gruyère, grated
To finish the balls:
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2–2 cups (140-180g) panko (breadcrumbs)
oil for frying
1. Bring a large pot with salted water to a boil – add the pasta and cook about 2 minutes shorter than the package says for “al dente”. Pour the pasta into a sieve and let drain. Set aside. Place the pot back on the stove and add the butter. Let melt over medium-high heat, then add the crushed garlic and let it cook for a moment until fragrant but not browned. Sprinkle the flour on top and mix to combine. Let cook for a minute while stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk and stir to combine – a whisk works best here to get a smooth béchamel sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let softly bubble for about 4-5 minutes – stir constantly or it will burn. Add the salt and season well with pepper and cayenne pepper. When the sauce has thickened nicely add the grated cheeses and mix until you have a nice and smooth cheese sauce. Remove from the heat, add the drained pasta and mix in. Let cool down completely.
2. Take small portions of the mac ‘n’ cheese and shape them into 1.6 inches (4cm) balls. Place them on a board or baking sheet and refrigerate them for about 2-3 hours until firm.
3. Add the eggs to a shallow bowl or plate, whisk them a bit, and season with salt and pepper. Add the flour to a second bowl or plate and the panko to a third bowl or plate. Now roll the mac ‘n’ cheese balls first in the flour, then the egg, and lastly in the panko. Set aside.
4. Heat up some oil in a pot or dutch oven to a temperature of about 347°F (175°C) – it should be enough so the balls can swim. Fry the balls in small batches until evenly golden brown and crispy. Take out and place on some kitchen paper to get rid of some excess fat. Serve hot with some marinara sauce or ketchup.
Keywords: macaroni, cheese, balls, junk food