Going meatless for a day, a month, or a lifetime doesn’t mean that you cannot have fun with your food. I think that, in the South, there is a consensus that, if it can be fried, it should be fried! Today, we are looking to fry Macaroni and Cheese! Let me tell you, it felt almost sinful to take that bite into the crispy breading only to find that creamy, cheesy, comforting center.
Whenever we make our basic baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe, we know that we are going to have leftovers. Sometimes, we just save it for leftovers. This time we decided to plan ahead and save some for frying. The process is very simple. Let your macaroni and cheese cool down completely and slice into 1-2 inch cubes (I think mine were more rectangular because of the size of the dish). Place them on a parchment covered sheet pan and put them into the freezer for 8 hours or overnight (you can cover with foil if you are worried about freezer burn). Once they are completely frozen, pull the cubes off and toss into a zip top bag for storage in the freezer.
About an hour before you are ready to fry them up, pull them out of the freezer to thaw slightly. While you are waiting, prepare your breading station. You’ll need three dishes, about 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 eggs, a splash of water, about 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, and some salt and pepper. Put flour in one dish, eggs beaten with water in another, and bread crumbs in the third. Season them all with salt and pepper. At that point you can start getting your oil warmed up. Take whatever you are frying in (preferably something a little deeper–I used a 3 qt saucepan) and pour in vegetable oil up to about halfway. Heat it over medium-high until it hits about 350 or so. Basically, if you put in a drop of water, it’ll pop right away.
To bread your Mac & Cheese, coat in flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs. Make sure they are completely covered, but dust off any extra. Fry until golden brown and delicious, about 5 minutes or so. Drain on paper towels. Because they were frozen, the inside will be just warm enough to eat once the outside has cooled down a bit. Server them as appetizers or with a side salad for a meal. I hope that you enjoy!
What are you doing for Meatless Monday? Have a Meatless Monday experience, recipe, or request? Leave us a comment and let us know what you’re up to!
Meatless Monday, a national nonprofit public health initiative, is all about incorporating more vegetables and less meat into our diet. It’s about moderation, just one day a week, cutting down on meats high in saturated fat and increasing protein-rich plant-based foods — good for personal health and good for the planet.