I am in love with cheese. I can’t believe I said that. 10 years ago I never thought I would. That is because 10 years ago I was eating sliced American from the deli counter (that still happens sometimes!). Over the course of the last few years I have become a cheese snob and now, I love cheese.
A few weeks ago we went out to dinner in Philadelphia. We hit up this restaurant, Nick’s Roast Beef, that had Mac and Cheese bites on their menu. It was not something I had ever tasted before but I was totally intrigued. They were really good! I couldn’t help but think…what if these were pepped up a bit by making them with a few extra ingredients AND good cheese? So, voila, Bacon Mac and Cheese Bites with a Kick were born!
Oh and the cheese I used? Yeah, that’s right, I used Kerrygold (if you haven’t tried Kerrygold butter or cheese, you are missing out on the grassfed deliciousness). More specifically, I used their sweet cheddar cheese, Skellig. YUM!
Here is how I made them:
Bacon Mac and Cheese Bites with a Kick
4 cups cooked ditalini pasta (al dente)
2 Tbsp Kerrygold butter, melted
1/4 cup unrefined flour + 2 Tbsp unrefined flour for the roux
1/4 cup chopped poblano peppers
1 3/4 cups whole milk +2 Tbsp
2 cups Kerrygold Skellig (sweet cheddar) cheese, shredded
2/3 cups homemade bread crumbs
2 Tbsp crushed cooked crispy bacon
1. Cook your pasta. Set aside.
2. Make your roux by adding 2 Tbsp flour to the 2 Tbsp melted butter in a pan and mixing. Set aside.
3. Saute your poblano peppers for ~ two minutes until just softened.
4. Add your shredded cheese and 1 3/4 cups milk to a pot and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper. When cheese is melted, add your roux from step 2. Fold in. Sauce will immediately become thicker (you want it slightly more sticky than a normal mac and cheese dish). Add in pasta and poblano peppers and stir. When combined, remove from heat.
5. Take out 2 bowls. To one bowl, mix 1/4 cup flour with homemade bread crumbs and crumbled bacon. Add a pinch of salt and mix. To the second bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 Tbsp milk.
6. Fill the bottom of a skillet with ~1/2 inch oil. Heat to med.-high.
7. Form a “small patty” with the mac and cheese. Dip it in egg mixture and then immediately into the bacon breadcrumb mixture. Place directly into the skilled filled with oil. Repeat for each patty.
*I recommend keeping these patties small. Think appetizer.
8. When the mac and cheese bites are browned on each side, Remove from the pan and place on a paper plate covered in napkins.
Serve warm and Enjoy!
* Disclosure: I was given some Kerrygold cheese and butter. This recipe was not required. I chose to make it because it just seemed like the natural thing to do at the time:)