Cheese and Macaroni, Artichoke Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese from Katherine's Graduation Party

photography Kathy McColm
Macaroni and Cheese as and Hors d'oeuvres at a wedding

Deep Fried Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe Testers,

Here are two of my most requested recipes. My Classic Mac and Cheese or it's more appropriate name: Cheese and Macaroni. Then there is my husband's personal favorite, the Artichoke Mac and Cheese. We recently took our classic mac and cheese and made Deep Fried Mac and Cheese as an hors d'oeuvres. Then we got this wild idea to add roasted pecans to the deep fried mac and cheese and I can tell you it is one of the best things we've ever created. To make the Deep Fried mac and cheese you must make the mac and cheese a day in advance and refrigerate it. Then scoop balls or cute squares while it is still cold. Then dip them in egg and panko and fry until golden. Serve on thick toothpicks. If you want to add the pecans, be sure to roast them ahead of time. We just kind of shoved the pecans into the ball. You could also put them in with the panko, but they were better on the inside.

We most typically make this for an event as an hors d'oeuvres and then I put the rest in casseroles for the staff. When I make it at home I make it in casseroles. No matter how you serve this, EVERYONE loves it!!

Cheese and Macaroni
Serves 8-10
This recipe is different than the typical Mac and Cheese recipe that usually calls for a white sauce. Instead of a flour filler, this recipe is cheese, cheese and more cheese with some macaroni thrown in. It is so delicious! I like to serve it with Collard Greens. Also, I generally use the Pecorino-Ramano because it is a little saltier than Parmesan, but if you can’t find it, just use Parmesan. I know you can buy pre-grated cheddar cheese, but for some reason it tastes better if you grate it yourself. The parmesan is fine to buy already pre-grated (just don’t get the powdered stuff)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1 pound large elbow macaroni, or pasta of your choice
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
1 1/2 pounds sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 pound (4 cups) to mix in with macaroni
1/2 pound (2 cups) to put on top
1 1/2 cups Pecorino-Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese (or 4 ounces goat cheese and 4 ounces cream cheese
or use all goat cheese instead of cream cheese)
1-2 tablespoons Frank’s Hot Sauce
In a 6-8 quart saucepan, boil water. Add 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste) to the boiling water. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente.
Rinse the macaroni in cold water until it is completely cool and set aside in the largest bowl you have.
Grate all the cheese. Add the heavy cream, 4 cups of grated cheddar cheese, the pecorino-romano and mix them all into the pasta. Add the Frank’s hot sauce and mix again.
Break the cream cheese into marble size pieces (it will be sticky!) Try to keep the cream cheese pieces as separate as possible. Mix them into the macaroni. The other cheese may clump to the cream cheese, but don’t worry, it will still taste great!
Put the macaroni and cheese mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish with the highest sides possible. Put the remaining two cups of grated cheddar cheese on top.
Place in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the top is crisp and bubbly.

Artichoke Jalapeno Mac & Cheese
Serves 8-10
This was invented by accident. I was making Artichoke Dip and Mac and Cheese and had a bunch of leftover ingredients. Then I thought this might taste good together. It ended up being delicious and my husband said he likes it more than my classic mac and cheese. This can be a vegetarian meal or you can add cooked chicken or cooked sausage if you want some kind of meat in it.
1 pound elbow macaroni, or pasta or your choice
2 13.75-ounce cans of artichoke hearts, packed in water
1 cup pecorino romano
1 cup parmesan
1 cup half and half
1 4-ounce can diced jalapeno
1 4-ounce can diced green chili
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped, optional
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
Panko Crust:
2 cups Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs) or bread crumbs of your choice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter
1. Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.
2. Boil water in a 6-8 quart pot. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. Rinse in cold water until pasta is completely cooled. Put pasta in a the largest bowl you have.
3. Drain and chop the artichoke hearts. Add to the pasta bowl.
4. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the cream cheese. Mix everything well before adding the cream cheese. Do your best to break up the cream cheese into small marble size pieces and mix in.
5. Pour complete mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish. (At this point it can be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated. Put the bread crumb crust on just before baking).
6. Make Panko crust: mix Panko, salt, parmesan cheese and butter together. Sprinkle over the top of the mac and cheese. Bake in a 375 oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Main Course, Vegetarian or Poultry Draft 1 typed by Karen Williams, May 20, 2007 Maili Productions Cookbook Maili Halme Brocke May 20, 2007


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