The Evolution of Mac ‘n Cheese — Part V

 

As you may already know, this week marks my 1 year blogging anniversary. I’m commemorating this milestone with a $50 eGift Card to Crate & Barrel to one lucky winner through my Anniversary Giveaway. The giveaway ends at the end of this month — click here for all the details.

During this past year, one of my most popular series of postings was my exploration and evolution of the classic mac ‘n cheese — from classic, indulgent, gourmet and healthy varieties.

  1. Broccoli Cheddar Mac ‘n Cheese
  2. Three Cheese, Lobster & Bacon Conchigliette
  3. Mozzarella & Pecorino Romano “Stacked” Beef and Shells
  4. Healthy Mac ‘n Cheese with Creamy Cauliflower-Prosciutto Sauce

And so once again, I decided to tackle this classic comfort dish and share yet another way to serve it up with a creative, yet delicious twist.

1227 Foster: Bacon Mac 'n Cheese Bites

Fried Mac ‘n Cheese Bacon Bites with Chunky Tomato Cream Sauce

I simply love this evolution of mac ‘n cheese. While it takes a little more time and prep since it requires shaping each one and freezing it overnight, it’s totally worth it in the end. I don’t know about you, but waiting for these things to freeze is agony when you’re eager to enjoy them once you have a batch mixed up.

1227 Foster: Bacon Mac 'n Cheese Bites

These are bite-sized and perfect as an appetizer for your next gathering. Enjoy them alone or topped with the chunky tomato cream sauce to add even more flavor dimension.

1227 Foster: Bacon Mac 'n Cheese Bites

The outside is a crisp outer coating that holds it all together until you slice through with your fork. The inside is just the right amount of creamy, cheesy goodness with savory bits and pieces of crumbled bacon.

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I hope you enjoy this latest mac ‘n cheese creation and that I’ve given you enough variations to satisfy your mac ‘n cheese cravings. Which is your favorite?

Fried Mac ‘n Cheese Bacon Bites with Chunky Tomato Cream Sauce

Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Danny @ 1227 Foster
Ingredients
  • 1 pound whole wheat Conchigliette Pasta (Baby Shells)
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyère Cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 2 cups Cream
  • 14-16 slices of Bacon – crumbled
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • Seasoned Bread Crumbs – enough to coat each bite
  • Cooking Oil
  • Ice Cream Scoop (1/4 cup size), parchment paper and 2 large baking trays
  • 1 14.5 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Cream – for sauce
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare Pasta aldente according to package directions – drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. Cook bacon in a pan, set on paper towel after cooking to drain excess oil and once dry, crumble and set aside.
  3. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add milk and cream and allow to come to a low simmer.
  4. Add in 2 cups of each cheese and stir until well blended.
  5. Season with fresh black pepper and remove from heat.
  6. Fold in pasta and bacon crumbles and mix well.
  7. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow mixture to thicken.
  8. Create 28 – 30 balls or bites using ice cream scoop. Place each one on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  9. Freeze overnight — this step is important!
  10. Once completely frozen, dip each one in the egg mixture then coat with breadcrumbs.
  11. Return to baking tray and freeze until ready to fry, or proceed to cook.
  12. In a large pot, fill with enough cooking oil to cover a layer of bites. Heat oil over low heat and allow oil to get very hot.
  13. Once oil is ready, test by dropping in one bite. I’ve found that 4 1/2 – 5 minutes is just the right amount of time to crisp the outside while heating up the inside. If you notice the outside getting too dark, it means your heat is too high. 5 minutes should give you a light, golden brown and crispy “shell”.
  14. Remove from oil and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil and cook remaining mac ‘n cheese bites.
  15. Prepare sauce by drizzling olive oil into a small sauce pan and heating.
  16. Add in diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup cream and black pepper — allow mixture to come to a simmer.
  17. Add in 1/3 – 1/2 cup cheese shreds and mix well until melted. Allow sauce to simmer longer until it slightly thickens.
  18. Serve with the mac ‘n cheese bites. Enjoy!
Notes
This recipe was designed for a party so feel free to cut recipe in half for a smaller gathering or dinner. You can also increase the number of “bites” by using a smaller ice cream scoop, but cut frying time in half due to the smaller size.

 

 

 

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Author: Danny

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32 Comments

  1. Oh, yummy. Looks like the ultimate comfort food or party food (not that I’d share :)).

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    • There’s plenty to these to share :) Thanks so much!

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    • I hope you enjoy them :) Please do so…thanks for liking it enough to reblog/link!

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  2. Wow … what a fantastic idea – like the look of it and I like the ingredients. Great – for the file. Thanks.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks Peter! These definitely are great for the next tailgate – hope you enjoy them!

      Post a Reply
    • Love it Elen — Naughty :) Definitely great for any game or get-together! Thanks so much!

      Post a Reply
  3. There’s nothing I like better than taking something that’s already decadent, and then frying it. :)

    Post a Reply
    • Good one Michelle :) Thanks for visiting, it’s been a while since we connected! Hope all is well!

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  4. Okay, now you’ve really done it! Diane’s taste test will be coming up soon, recipe’s printed out. You know you got me with the bacon in there & I love the sounds of that chunky tomato cream sauce but I’ll have to come up w/something sans tomato chunks for my husband.
    Now of your other options I have to say that my favorite is #3 but substituting bacon for the burger. The main reason is the mozzarella cheese in that one. I like them all & of course next to bacon, lobster is my real weakness but I guess I’m not as crazy about the roux.
    That’s what we love though – options & you’re sure giving us plenty. Thank you!

    Post a Reply
    • Diane, I’m responding only to you so this is our little secret. I almost titled this posting Diane’s Fried Mac ‘n Cheese Bacon Bites because I remember how much you liked the bacon option in my prior recipes! :) But to be fair to everyone else, I had to leave your name out. Glad I could give you lots of options — 5 varieties is more than enough right? Thanks!

      Post a Reply
      • Just had to get back to you with the taste test review on these little babies – A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
        I think you knew you’d have me hooked on this one for sure & I don’t know if I can come up with one favorite because they’re all so good. You think 5 varieties is enough? I’m betting you’ll probably come up with more as you go along.

        Post a Reply
        • I’m so glad to hear you loved them! I was thinking of you when I ended up just using bacon — honest!!!! Not sure where else I can go with mac ‘n cheese so this is it for a long while — but never say never :)

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  5. bitesized mac and cheese! You’re really making it easier and more fun to devour mac and cheese haha :D
    Marnelli recently posted..Liebster AwardMy Profile

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    • Thanks – I’m glad you like the posting. Not only are they fun but really really good :)

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    • Thanks Kenley. These are definitely great for those parties, but I actually ate them for dinner so totally versatile :)

      Post a Reply
    • It was definitely awesome! Glad you like it so much to include in your roundup — thanks so much!!!!! :)

      Post a Reply
  6. Wow, if food porn and carbo charging had a love child, it think your Mac n cheese bites would be it! I love the look of these and you’re so right, they’re incredibly party appropriate and look like a great way of using pasta for a fritter. Fantastic :)

    Post a Reply
    • Too funny — great “love child” reference :) Glad you like the way they turned out — they are definitely fun!

      Post a Reply
  7. This is something I have to try! In Texas, they try to fry everything; even butter! This I’ve never heard of and well my family, all but my son, love mac and cheese and fried food(who doesn’t). I can just imagine the crunch and cheese. Might have to stick this on my to-do list for Superbowl Sunday.
    Jenne recently posted..#SundaySupper – Patty Melt, Hand Cut Fries, & a ShakeMy Profile

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    • Thanks Jenne! Now I am trying to think of how you fry butter — love butter :) I hope you give it a try and you all enjoy this recipe. Definitely perfect for the big game :)

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  8. Oh my goodness. I really do have to make these. My kids LOVE homemade mac and cheese and I really think they would love these as well. Thank you!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Lisa! I hope you and the family enjoy this version and thanks for visiting my blog :)

      Post a Reply

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  1. Super Bowl-worthy Appetizers! | 1227 Foster - […] Fried Mac ‘n Cheese Bacon Bites […]
  2. Meet VRAI Magazine's Danny de la Cruz - […] love to experiment and create new recipes and rarely do I ever use a recipe unless I’m baking. And …

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