Okay Internet. I have a confession to make. It’s about a secret crush I’ve been nurturing for a long time. We grew up together on the mean streets of Pittsburgh, but I didn’t know what I was feeling at the time, and we sort of lost touch. But then, in grad school, we reconnected, and it was glorious. I’m talking, of course, about mac ‘n cheese.
In the years since, I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur, sampling truffle mac ‘n cheese, bacon mac ‘n cheese, even caprese mac ‘n cheese. It’s possible that nothing will ever top the lobster mac ‘n cheese I had in Denver at a place called Mizuna, but when I got the opportunity to write this post for Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend*, I decided to try making my own.
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Macaroni and cheese
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 Tablespoons butter
6 ounces evaporated milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
10 ounces Land O’Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend, shredded
Dried chives, to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 cup of flour
2 cups of bread crumbs
1. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions, drain and return to the pan (off the heat). Add the 4 T butter and stir to combine.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the 2 eggs, 6 oz evaporated milk, 1 t salt, and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the macaroni.
3. Place the saucepan on the burner on low. Then add the 10 oz Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend and chives, stirring until the cheese melts and becomes creamy, about 3 minutes.
4. Take the mac ‘n cheese off the heat and let it cool until the cheese sauce thickens significantly and you can make balls easily by hand without them falling apart.
5. While you are waiting for the cheese to set up, set up three bowls in a row. Put 1 1/2 c flour in the first bowl, 3 eggs in the middle and 2 c bread crumbs in the last bowl.
6. Take a small spoonful of mac ‘n cheese and place in the middle of a piece of saran wrap. Use the plastic wrap to squeeze the mac ‘n cheese tightly to form a ball.
7. Take the ball out of the plastic wrap and dunk into the flour, then into the egg, and finally into the breadcrumbs. Repeat until the mac ‘n cheese is used up. Gently squeeze the balls as you are moving them between bowls to help maintain their shape.
If you are frying:
8. Pour enough oil into a large saucepan (I used a 4qt pan) to cover the balls (about 3 inches deep). Heat on medium until the temperature reaches 350 degrees.
9. Once the oil is ready, place as many balls as you can into the hot oil,without crowding the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with metal tongs or metal slotted spoon. Let cool for 2 minutes and eat hot.
If you are baking:
8. Preheat the oven to 350.
9. Spread the balls out across the baking sheet and spray each with nonstick spray to promote crispiness
10. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip the balls at the halfway point. Let cool for about 2 minutes and eat while hot.
adapted from Food Network
Serve with easy tomato sauce.