Mac & Cheese Bites
1 lb. elbow macaroni
(1/2 batch of béchamel cheese sauce)
3/4 cup pimento cheese spread
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¾ cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 tablespoons milk
4 cups peanut oil for frying, or as needed
Sriracha seasoned ketchup for plate
Fill a pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the macaroni is cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 7 minutes. Drain. While the macaroni is still hot, stir in the Cheddar cheese, pimento cheese spread,
Monterrey jack cheese and parmesan cheese, and continue to stir until melted. Place the macaroni and cheese mixture in a container and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the macaroni mixture from the refrigerator, and, using a cookie scoop, scoop into balls. Place mac balls on the prepared baking sheet and freeze for at least 2 hours. (all of the above can be
done the day before)
Heat oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F.
Whisk the bread crumbs with the paprika, chili powder, black pepper, sugar, and cayenne in a shallow dish; set aside. Beat the eggs with the 3 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Remove the mac balls from the freezer, coat in the egg wash, and then dredge in breading.
Fry the mac balls in small batches until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain briefly
on a paper towel-lined plate; serve hot w/ a tablespoon of seasoned ketchup on the bottom of the plate.