Thursday, October 28, 2010
Adrian and I tried a new recipe the other day, and we both loved it! Adrian is my soon to be 17 year old. (How does that happen?) He likes to cook and joins me in the kitchen on occasion. We had some leftover, baked mac and cheese. I have seen them fry it before on Food Network, so we decided to give it a try. It turned out pretty darned good, if I don't say so myself.
A note about the leftover mac:
The mac and cheese I used was just one of those where you throw together what looks good. So, it had a couple kinds of cheese in it along with some homemade salsa thrown it. It was the first time I tried that, and it really jazzed it up. You should give it a try sometime if you haven't done so already. It was a couple days old and baked. That part is essential. It must be baked, and it must be at least refrigerated overnight.
I took a peek at Alton Brown's recipe for Next Day Mac and Cheese "Toast" to get an idea of the process. I was SO excited to see that he used panko bread crumbs. These are one of my new favorite things. It's a total texture experience, and they work perfectly with this recipe.
Here's what you need:
Leftover baked macaroni and cheese, refrigerated for at least overnight
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne (Adrian said it could have had more. I thought it was spot on.)
2 eggs beaten with 3 ounces water
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Oil for deep frying, preheated 375 degrees
Cut refrigerated mac and cheese into 3"x3" squares (what we did) or bite size pieces.
Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne to the flour.
Dredge each piece through the flour, tapping off excess.
Dip dredged mac into the egg wash, then coat with the bread crumbs.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes. (This is an important step.)
Very carefully drop into the oil and fry until golden brown. (I used a special metal spatula that I have to place them into the oil as well as lift them out. It worked fabulously...no burns!)
Remove to a baking sheet fitted with a rack and rest for two minutes before serving.
I hope you get to give this a try. It's super simple, and a really quick dinner. Just add a side salad and some fruit, and dinner is done! (I'd advance prep any other element of dinner first. The mac fries up so quickly that you want them to be the last step in getting dinner on the table.) Enjoy!