Fried Macaroni and Cheese Bites
Last week I added a post to the blog for “Grandma’s Mac and Cheese.”
Check that our here or by clicking the name.
Now it’s time to put those leftovers to work. I’m not talking about re-heating them for left overs…oh no. I’m talking about FRIED MAC AND CHEESE. Little bite size pieces of left over macaroni and cheese dipped in a light batter and fried golden brown.
My wife’s Grandma is who gave us this recipe, and I’m unsure how she would feel about us taking her left overs and deep frying them. Then again, she’s a spunky Grandma for sure. I think she’d be up for trying it.
Personally, I like this a lot more than throwing the leftovers in a sauce pan and heating them up. It just does weird things to the noodles and the cheese just doesn’t melt the same. I know, I’m just complaining, but these are all the more reasons to be making fried mac and cheese!
A Few Notes…
I had the corner of my 8×8 square casserole dish filled with left over baked macaroni and cheese. Basically, I took a small spoon and just dug out little chunks until it was all small pieces in the bottom of the baking dish. I stuck them in the freezer for a little bit, just to be sure that the noodles wouldn’t overcook and get hard and chewy.
USEFUL EQUIPMENT ALERT!!!
I baked this macaroni and cheese in an Anchor Hocking Vintage Square baking dish. This thing is a BEAST and I wouldn’t trade it for any other square bake ware. We’ve dropped it, slammed it into things, and traveled miles with it and the food STAYS HOT. Now, we don’t have a fancy thermal sleeve for this or anything, and the lid doesn’t lock. It’s a glass lid as well and just sits on the top. Call me a masochist, but I kind of prefer this. It reminds me of a simpler time.
I can’t find this dish ANYWHERE online, so my suggestion to you, is if you see one, do yourself a favor and buy it immediately. I mean it. You’ll be thoroughly rewarded time and time again. Here is the closest thing I could find literally anywhere on the interwebs and it’s on Amazon. It’s made by Anchor Hocking, but it’s not the same line. Again, I can’t stand behind this specific product, but if it’s anything like mine, it’s well worth it. Here’s the link: Anchor Hocking 2 Quart Square Glass Baking Dish
Another thing, make sure your oil is nice and hot. Drop a couple drops of batter into the oil, and if it’s ready, they sizzle pretty energetically. When your oil is this hot, it ensures a nice, crispy crust, which helps make the fried mac and cheese so darn good!
When I first put the batter together, and fried one of the mac and cheese bites, the consistency of the batter on the outside was nice, but bland in flavor. I added a little more salt, garlic powder and onion powder. This was the perfect little boost of flavor, and kept the crust from being bland.
Hey Batter, Batter
I like this batter because it universal. You can use it for coating and frying darn near anything. From savory to sweet it does it all. I would imagine that it would be a nice fried Oreo batter, but you didn’t hear that from me……I use a similar batter in my General Tso’s Cauliflower Post.
There’s something magical about what happens to the macaroni and cheese inside the bad boys while they’re frying. It’s almost like the batter creates a little cocoon and only lets in hot steam. It’s the perfect conditions for reheating left over macaroni and cheese in hand held, bite size form. I’m sure ranch, hot sauce, barbecue or even a chili sauce of some kind would be delicious.
I Dip You Dip We Dip
I would imagine that you could dip my fried mac and cheese in just about anything. My favorite is ketchup. I’ve been eating them that way for years, since I had my first ones from Sheetz, umpteen years ago. I have to say, I used to love those things. They were spot on with their batter and the mac on the inside. Those mac and cheese bites are most definitely the reason and the inspiration for me making my fried macaroni and cheese.
Have fun with this one! Fried mac and cheese is sure to please any and everyone!
- leftover baked macaroni and cheese (find my recipe here: Grandma’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese)
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 4 eggs, beaten
- some water to thin batter
- shredded cheddar cheese
- oil for frying, preferably vegetable, peanut or canola
- Scoop leftover macaroni and cheese into bites size pieces and stick them in the freezer while heating oil and preparing batter.
- Heat enough oil to be 3-4 inches deep in a heavy cast iron skillet over medium high heat until shimmering strongly.
- Drop a couple drops of batter into the hot oil to see if the oil is ready. It will sizzle very energetically and rise back to the surface.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and then add the beaten eggs. Whisk until the batter comes together, then add water a little bit at a time until you get to the consistency of pancake batter.
- Drop 6-8 pieces of macaroni and cheese into the batter and using a slotted spoon lift them out, allow the excess to drip off, and lightly drop them into the hot oil, 2-3 pieces at a time. Use tongs to separate the pieces in the oil so they don’t stick together.
- Fry, turning every 2-3 minutes until golden brown all around. Should take about 6-8 minutes total.
- Transfer directly to wire rack and sprinkle some shredded cheddar on top of them to melt, along with a shake of salt. Enjoy immediately while piping hot.