Jamika's Fried Mac n Cheese Bites
Mac n Cheese:
8 oz Elbow noodles
3 tbsp Unsalted butter
1/4 cup Scallions, finely chopped, plus more to garnish
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Sweet paprika
1/4 tsp Ground cayenne pepper
3 tbsp All-purpose flour
1.5-2 cups Whole milk
4 oz Cream cheese, softened & cut into cubes
1 cup Shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese
Dredge:
1 cup All-purpose flour
2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups Crushed butter crackers
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil, for frying
Hot sauce, to serve

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the scallions and garlic and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the paprika, cayenne, and 3 tablespoons flour and whisk to form a paste. Allow the paste to cook for 30 seconds to a minute to cook out the flour. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the milk and whisk to remove any lumps.

Bring to a simmer and allow to thicken for 5 minutes. Stir in the cheddar cheese, cream cheese and noodles. Remove and allow to cool completely.

Scoop the mixture into 1-inch balls using a cookie scoop to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze the balls for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch oven with 3 to 4-inches of oil over medium-high heat to 360ºF. Prepare a dredging station. In the first baking dish or bowl add the 1 cup flour, in the second add the eggs and in the third add the butter crackers. Season each with salt and pepper.

Dredge the cheese balls in the flour, then dip into egg, and lastly coat in the crackers. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate or baking rack inside a baking sheet. Serve garnished with chives and a drizzle of hot sauce.

6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes