Tiny Food Party!
Teri Lyn Fisher
Finally, macaroni and cheese how the universe meant it to be: combined with bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces, and fried into perfect triangles. For optimum flavor, start the Tiny Food Party! (Quirk) recipe the day before it’s meant to be served, and be sure to prep your camera. You’ll want pictures of guests swooning with delight when they try it.
For macaroni and cheese:
1/2 pound small elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated fontina cheese
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2/3 cup crumbled cooked bacon (from about 6 strips)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 quart vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs*
*Panko bread crumbs are particularly airy, flaky, and wonderfully crunchy when fried. Originally from Japan, they are now widely available at most grocery stores.
1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni, along with 3 1/2 tablespoons of salt, and stir. Boil pasta according to package instructions until al dente, stirring frequently. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk until mixture just begins to turn light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Whisk in buttermilk until no lumps remain and mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add cheeses and dry mustard and stir until fully incorporated and smooth. Pour cheese sauce over cooked macaroni and stir together. Fold in bacon and green onions until just combined. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a greased 8-by-8-inch baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat oil to 350 degrees F. Cut chilled mac ‘n’ cheese into 1-inch squares; cut again on the diagonal into triangles. Place flour in a shallow dish, eggs in a second shallow dish, and panko in a third shallow dish. Lightly dredge mac ‘n’ cheese triangles in flour, shaking off excess. Dip floured triangles in eggs and then toss in panko until fully coated. Fry, in small batches, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, season with salt and pepper, and serve warm.
These versatile tidbits can be flavored with any mix-ins you like. Try 1/2 cup diced cooked ham instead of the bacon, along with 2 thinly sliced green onions and 1/2 cup diced roasted bell peppers.
Makes 128 bites (not a typo)
Excerpted from Tiny Food Party! © 2012 by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park. Reprinted with permission from Quirk Books. Photos courtesy of Teri Lyn Fisher.
How well do you get along with your grandchild and other family members? Want to know if your personalities mesh?Find out here.