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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Baked Mac and Cheese Balls

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

panko crumbs
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. 


Anonymous said...

Wow, this looks so damn good!!!!!!!!!!

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

I have bookmarked this page to make for Sunday dinner later this month. What a fun and interesting appetizer, even the granddaughter will enjoy. Thanks.

Tangled Noodle said...

I am going to try this! Craving for mac'n'cheese has been sharp but I think this has finally convinced me it's time. Love that you made it 'healthier' by baking! 8-)

vanillasugarblog said...

ya know i've wanted to do deep fried mac bites, but never thought of using an oven first.
they look just a good you know? awesomeness.

Dewi said...

Very creative Jenn, I bet kids will love this. It's easier to eat as well.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of mac and cheese balls! Very creative!

Phyllis said...

I love mac and cheese balls! So awesome that they come out so crispy without being deep-fried.
ps. I am the condiment QUEEN. My hubby makes fun of me whenever I eat anything - i need to have a minimum of 3 sauces or dips nearby!

Unknown said...

These look great! And as for the ketchup - don't think that's too strange at all. My dad used to put ketchup on mac & cheese a lot when we were growing up. Eggs, too!

chow and chatter said...

oh wow so cool never heard of this yummy

Joanne said...

Ketchup has it's kind of like tomato sauce...?

These look amazing! Love that you baked them!

Esi said...

I've had the deep fried version before....loooooove that you did a baked one. Less guilt! Must try.

Reeni said...

I love this idea! Those are crave-worthy!

sophia said...

Yummy, looks awesome! Cheese, pasta, and BAKED into cute balls! haha what can be better?
aw, look at your tiny cute hands, lol.

CDC said...

I have to make sure by best friend sees this - she always wanted to figure out how to make these! They look amazing!

theUngourmet said...

I would love to try these out on my kids! Of course, I'd have to eat a few myself! :D

Sasha said...

Ooh gorgeous! I'm bookmarking this page.

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Yum... these look incredible!

Lizbeth said...

This looks so yummy! I'm making this for my son's music class potluck next week.
btw...I'm in Silverlake, we love Fred 62!
Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

these are extremely hard to make. I tried to make them for a bridal shower and it took me literally an hour to roll 12 balls. The macaroni doesn't want to stick together to form a ball. They are super cute and I wish they would have worked but I can't afford to spend so much time on an one dish.

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