Wednesday, April 14, 2010
One of the neat little diner places I like to frequent a lot is this place in the Los Feliz are near Hollywood called Fred 62. I've mentioned them here before. I like the place. One of the times on their menu that always intrigued me is their Mac and cheese balls.
The original is deep-fried classic style mac and cheese, but my version is baked. It's a fingerfood friendly version of the classic baked mac and cheese basically. I used a shredded four cheese mix rather than just simply cheddar. I cooked it up the old fashioned way then after letting it cool for a bit, I scoop up a little shaped it with my hands and dipping them into a panko crumb, egg wash bath. Baked it. This version still has that crisp crust you'd find in the fried version and a little healthier without all that grease and oil. I love the crunchy crust it has after it bakes and the inside is still soft and cheesy. Yum!!
Is it weird that I ate a few of them with ketchup? It's a habit of mine. I tend to mix and match the oddest condiments, dips and sauce with the most unlikely of dishes. Is there anyone else out there that does that? Like for example, putting sweet pickle relish on a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich.
Roughly makes 12 balls
Mac and Cheese Balls
2 c uncooked elbow macaroni
2-3 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp flour
pinch of salt
pepper to taste
1 c evaporated milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese (your choice)
1 tsp tobasco
1 tsp paprika
egg wash - 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp of water
Cook the Pasta in salted boiling water. Save 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain the rest. Set aside.
In a sauce pan, melt the 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the flour. Combine to make a type of dough. Add the milk and mix together. Bring it to a slight boil to help it thicken slightly and bring the heat to a low flame to simmer. Add the cheese. Stir to combine to melt the cheese. Once the cheese has melted. Season with a little salt and pepper and add the leftover butter. Then mix in the pasta and stor to combine. Add the saved pasta water as well. Let the mac and cheese cool completely before handling.
Preheat your oven to 400˚F
In a shallow dish, place the panko crumbs in a shallow and the egg wash in a small bowl. Once the mac and cheese has cool take a small (egg-sized) scoop and with clean hands or two spoons, shape it into a ball. Dip the ball into the panko crumbs, egg, then panko again in that order. Place them on a ungreased parchment lined baking sheet and back for 15-20 minutes or until the panko crumbs have lightly browned.
Tags: cheese pasta baked.