Attention health fanatics: Please don't go off on me about this week's column. I am inoculated from your fury because my wife, Liz, who is very health conscious, happened to be complicit in coming up with this recipe. Well, the marinara was her idea. And she did do the frying!
This is a fun way to prepare leftover mac and cheese, and the results are delicious. My concern is we will now crave this monthly. With adequate self discipline, we will limit it to a semi-annual culinary experience.
You can see a video on the fried mac-and-cheese Liz and I posted at www.YouTube.com/BBQMyWay. Search for “fried mac-and-cheese.”
To make it yourself, first prepare your favorite mac and cheese recipe. Here is ours:
Macaroni and Cheese
2 lbs. dry macaroni noodles
½ cup flour
1 stick real butter
1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 lb. Velveeta cheese (cubed)
8 cups milk
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
In a huge pot, boil the noodles until cooked, then drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pot with a thick bottom over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, slowly add and vigorously whisk in the flour. The pot's thick bottom will keep the flour from burning and the milk from scalding. Once the flour is fully mixed and smooth, you have a roux. Slowly add the milk, while once again vigorously stirring with a whisk. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil while stirring occasionally. The mixture should now coat the back of a spoon. Add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
Add the cooked noodles and mix. Now add the two cheeses and turn off the heat. Stir until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a large casserole dish which has been sprayed with a no-stick spray. Smooth out and sprinkle the top with more cheddar cheese and dried bread crumbs for texture.