Saturday, January 15, 2011

Macaroni & Cheese On a Stick (Italian Main Dish/ Desert)

Mac&Cheese Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked;
- 2 tbsp butter;
- 1 ½ tbsp flour;
- 1 ¼ cup warm milk;
- Pinch of nutmeg and cayenne pepper;
- ½ cup grated cheese (I used marble, but you could use any good quality hard cheese gruyere, mozzarella, cheddar) ;
- Salt and pepper to taste;

1. In a medium sized pot, bring some salted water to a boil and cook macaroni as per instructions on the bag. Once al dente, drain the pasta and set aside.
2. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter.
3. Add flour to butter, whisking vigorously until mixture if of uniform consistency. Remove pot from heat, and slowly add the warm milk (whisking continuously to avoid lumps).
4. Return butter + flour + milk mixture to stove and bring to a simmer. Add cayenne and nutmeg, and continue to stir.

5. Once sauce thickens, remove pan from heat and add in the cheese. Continue to stir sauce until cheese dissolves.
6. In a rectangular casserole dish, combine the sauce and the macaroni. Mix thoroughly until all pasta is coated with cheese sauce. Cover dish, and place macaroni in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
7. Remove refrigerated/day-old macaroni and cheese from fridge.
8. Take handfuls of mac&cheese and form them into balls ~1.5-2inches in diameter.
9. Place balls on a baking tray and return to fridge while you prepare the frying batter.

Batter Ingredients:
- 1 ¼ cup flour;
- ¼ cup corn starch;
- ½ tsp baking powder;
- ½ tsp baking soda;
- ¼ tsp salt;
- 1 cup cold water (adjust amount of water to produce a batter that is not too runny);
- ½ cup bread crumbs;
- ¼ cup grated cheese;
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese;
- Pinch of Cajun seasoning and cracked black pepper;

1. Sift together the flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. Stir in the bread crumbs, cheeses, seasonings and pepper.
3. Have cold water ready to add to dry ingredients when your frying oil, mac&cheese balls and cooking station is ready to begin the frying process.

Frying the Balls:
1. Complete preparation of batter mixture by adding the cold water to the dry ingredients. Stir until no lumps remain, and batter is nice and thick (add more flour if batter is too runny).
2. In deep wok, heat 2L of canola oil (or 2-3inches of oil) over medium until it reaches 375degrees (or batter-test the oil temperature: drop a tsp of batter in the oil and if ready, the batter should bubble up to the surface immediately).
3. Remove Mac&Cheese balls from fridge. Place one ball into the batter mixture gently. Use a spoon to coat the sides and top of the ball fully. Use that same spoon to gently drop the battered ball into the hot frying oil. Cook for 3-4minutes (or until batter is nicely browned), remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate to cool. 4. Repeat step 3 for all the Mac&Cheese balls. (Note: again, be not alarmed if the balls fall apart slightly. Remain calm! Slowly scoop up the Mac&Cheese bits with your large spoon, and if the pieces are all coated in batter then the ball is remain whole once deep fried).

You can serve them as a Main Dish with ketchup and/or grated cheese.
As a desert with honey or brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon.


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