Crispy Macaroni and Cheese Balls
The only thing better than macaroni and cheese is when it's served in bite-sized portions with a crisp, golden brown crunch. We think your kids will agree.
- 2 Cups elbow macaroni pasta
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons plus 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Cup milk
- 1/2 Cup half-and-half
- 1/4 Cup grated Gruyère cheese
- 1/2 Cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Pinch of cracked pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Oil, for frying
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 Cup panko breadcrumbs, crushed to a fine consistency
- 2 Teaspoons finely chopped parsley
- Kosher salt, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for 6-8 minutes or according to the package instructions.
While the macaroni is cooking, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Slowly add the flour and whisk until fully incorporated. Cook the roux for 1-2 minutes, then slowly whisk in the milk and half-and-half. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses, 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
Place in bowl in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour.
Remove from refrigerator and use a spoon to scoop the macaroni into 1 ½-inch balls. Place the balls on parchment paper or baking sheet.
Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees. Create a dredging station by placing the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs mixed with parsley and ½ teaspoon of salt in three separate balls.
While the oil is heating, dip the macaroni and cheese balls through a dredging station, first in the flour, then the eggs, and then the breadcrumb mixture.
When you are finished dipping all the macaroni and cheese balls in the dredging station, place the balls into the hot oil to fry (work in shifts, making sure that they aren’t too crowded in oil) for about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.