Last week I wrote about my children’s appreciation of homemade macaroni and cheese. Since then I have found a twist on this recipe, or rather leftovers of this recipe, that they absolutely adore: Mac & Cheese Bites. With an evening work event for me and leftover mac & cheese in the refrigerator, I decided to make the dinner more exciting than a little bit of reheating.
I have seen deep-fried mac & cheese bites on several restaurant menus, but I have never ordered them, as the combination of mac & cheese and deep frying sounded ridiculously heavy. It did sound like something my kids would like, so all I had to decide was how to coat the mac & cheese before frying. A three-step (flour, egg, breading) process seemed like the best way to make a crisp coating.
I did use my homemade mac & cheese for this recipe, although it didn’t hold together well while frying. As this mac & cheese recipe doesn’t have a binder, such as eggs, the blocks tended to fall apart. However, the kids liked it, even in smaller bites, as it had a crunchy coating and a cheesy interior. Feel free to try my recipe for mac & cheese or your own favorite. I would highly discourage using mac & cheese from a box.
Mac & Cheese Bites
2 servings mac & cheese
1/2 cup flour
salt & pepper
1 cup panko
1 cup peanut oil
parmesan cheese, grated
Cut mac & cheese into bite-sized pieces. Combine flour and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Whisk egg in a second bowl. Pour panko into a third bowl.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, coat a piece of mac & cheese in flour, then egg, and finally panko. Place in frying pan. Repeat with several more mac & cheese pieces, adding to frying pan. Make sure that the pan is not crowded, so that the pieces cook well.
Cook for 1 minute, then flip and cook for another minute. When both sides are golden brown, remove mac & cheese bites to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.