Fried Melted Mac and Cheese Balls
1 lb Elbow pasta small
2 1/2 tbsp Flour
2 cups + 2 tbsp Whole milk
¼ tsp Paprika
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup Thawed and dried frozen peas OR ½ cup ¼” cubed smoked ham
4 cups Plain fine bread crumbs
Medium heavy pot (or pan for frying)
Cook the pasta in lightly salted water until al dente. Strain and reserve.
In a medium saucepan melt the butter, then sprinkle in the flour and paprika in small batches, whisking the whole time over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until foamy and slightly darkened.
Whisk the milk into the melted butter and flour, whisking often to prevent sticking. Let cook and slightly thicken for about 3 mins. Remove from heat.
Once off the heat, fold in the shredded cheese in batches until evenly melted.
Add the ham or peas to the pasta and then mix the cheese sauce over it. Mix well before pouring into 2 8x12’’ baking dishes lined with parchment paper. Spread the mac and cheese evenly into a 1.5’’ even layer. Place in fridge until cold.
Once ready to fry, preheat oil in a medium heavy pot to 350F. Whisk the eggs and 2 tbsp of milk in a small bowl. Add breadcrumbs to another bowl then get the cold mac and cheese out of the fridge. Remove mac from the dishes and then cut into equal squares, or scoop into balls, about 2.5 inches.
Dip each ball in the milk/egg mixture and let drip for a second. Coat evenly in the breadcrumbs and place in the hot oil. Cook until golden brown for about 3 1/2 minutes.
Season with salt once taken out of oil and let rest for at least a minute before eating.