Let me start by saying, I'm totally aware how ridiculous this recipe is. If these weren't so damn good, I'd almost be ashamed of this recipe. Macaroni cheese fritters. Literally, one of the world's least nutritious (yet most delicious) foods... fried.
I swear there's a reason for this.
Two of my favourite bloggers, Rachel from Rachel Cooks and Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny, are hosting a massive macaroni cheese event this week - Mac and Cheese Mania! A whole week of macaroni cheese... I know, I've died and gone to heaven.
Check it, they've even got a logo:
The best part is, just in case a whole week of macaroni cheese on two blogs wasn't enough (is it ever?), they want your recipes too, and there are tons of prizes up for grabs (including a year's supply of cheese...). Head over to either Nutmeg Nanny or Rachel Cooks to enter. You don't even need to be a blogger to take part, you just need an awesome recipe!
I'll be taking over these macaroni cheese fritters... seriously the best thing I've tasted in ages - but I kind of knew they would be. You can't really go far wrong with cheese and pasta.
The recipe is really simple - it starts as a smaller quantity of my ultimate macaroni cheese, with onions, garlic and a simple cheese sauce. Then you just need to add some extra flour and an egg to help it all bind together into a fritter. Perfection.
I did actually try baking a few of these too, in case any of you feel like being ever so slightly less indulgent. They worked well, and tasted great, but just weren't quite as spectacular as the fried version - so it's totally up to you which version you go for! I don't think fried cheese will be making a regular appearance in my diet any time soon, so next time I'll probably stick with baking.
By the way, make sure you use a small pasta shape for these. For my first attempt, I used conchiglie (shells), but they were a bit too heavy and the fritters didn't stick together properly. When I tried using macaroni instead, it worked a million times better. Serves me right for trying to use conchiglie for a dish that's literally named after macaroni.
- 110g small pasta shapes (I used macaroni but any small shape will do)
- 20g butter
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4tbsp plain flour
- 100ml milk
- Black pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 100g cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Oil for frying
- Boil the pasta until cooked, and then drain.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan, and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium-low heat for a few minutes, until soft and translucent. Turn the heat down pretty low and add [i]one tablespoon[/i] of the flour (not all of it!). Stir constantly for one minute, before adding the milk. Stir again until the mixture thickens into a white sauce. Season generously and add a pinch of nutmeg. Then add the cheese, and stir it into the sauce until it melts. Remove from the heat, and add the drained pasta. Mix to combine, and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- When the macaroni cheese has cooled for a few minutes, add the remaining 3tbsp of flour and stir to combine. The mixture should be fairly thick at this stage. Add the egg, and mix well.
- If you've chosen to bake your fritters, spread out dollops of the mixture on a lightly greased baking sheet, and bake for around 30 minutes at 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F).
- If frying, add a few tablespoons of oil to a frying pan (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan), and heat until the oil sizzles when you add a small drop of batter.
- Drop a couple of tablespoons of the mixture into the pan, and smooth it out until you're happy with the fritter shape. Cook for a few minutes over a medium heat, until the underside is golden brown, then carefully flip it over and repeat with the other side. Remove from the pan and set on some kitchen paper to drain any excess oil.
- Do this for the remaining fritter mixture - I was able to do about 3 fritters at a time in my pan, but this depends on the size of your frying pan.