Chef JJ walks us through how to make one of our favorite comfort foods into a bite-sized appetizer.
1 pound elbow pasta, cooked
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup American cheese, shredded
1 ½ cups extra sharp cheddar plus more for top
1 cup Colby jack plus more for top
1 cup gruyere cheese
2 cups mozzarella
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Cracked black pepper
2 cups plain breadcrumbs
3 eggs, whisked
Oil for frying
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pasta and butter until well
Add the milk, heavy cream, eggs, American cheese, extra sharp cheddar, Colby jack, gruyere, mozzarella, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a large bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.
Pour the mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish and cover with foil. Bake the mac and cheese in the oven for about 40 minutes.
Allow the mac and cheese to chill completely before forming. This may mean chilling overnight.
Form the balls into 1 ½ to 2-inch rounds. Make sure they are chilled before the next step of rolling in the egg and breadcrumb. This can take up to 3 hours.
Roll the balls in the egg and breadcrumb and then chill completely before frying. You can even put them in the freezer for a couple of hours to speed up the process. Or let it set in the fridge overnight.
Heat a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot with oil. Once it reaches about 350 degrees, fully submerge the balls one at a time into the oil, being sure not to overcrowd. You can fry in batches.
Fry the mac and cheese balls until golden brown. Drain the excess grease on a paper towel-lined plate or a sheet rack.