SmoFried Mac & Cheese Balls

Have you ever had something so good that you had to slap yourself mid-bite just to make sure it’s real? that’s exactly what happened when I tasted one of my best creations yet. Who would’ve known that smoked macaroni and cheese could turn out any better after you batter it up and drop it in a little oil for just a few minutes. Crispy, cheesy and satisfying are the first words that come to mind whenever I think of these all original appetizers.

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Ingredients:

1-2 lb.s Elbow Macaroni

6 TBSP Unsalted Butter

6 TBSP All-Purpose Flour

2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1 lb. Grated Cheddar

1 lb. Grated Gouda

Kosher Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

2 Large Eggs

1 Box Panko Bread Crumbs

Canola Oil For Frying

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Directions:

1. In a large pot cook the macaroni according to the directions on the box. For best results only allow the macaroni to cook until ardent. Once the macaroni is finished cooking pour into a straining bowl and run cold water over macaroni to stop the cooking.

2. In a separate large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour into the butter and stir it with a whisk. Cook for about 2 minutes. Whisk the heavy whipping cream into the flour and butter mixture. Cook until the sauce thickens, about another 2 minutes.

3. Reduce the heat to very low and begin adding the grated cheeses into the flour, butter and heavy whipping cream mixture. Stir until all of the cheese is melted and smooth. Once the cheese saucy mix in desirable amount of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

4. Fold the macaroni into the cheese sauce and stir until all of the macaroni is completely encased in cheese. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a 12 or 15 inch cast iron skillet.

5. Use hickory, apple, pecan or cherry wood to get your smoker to about 200 degrees farenheight. Once the fire is producing a clean and clear smoke place the cast iron skillet onto the smoker. Allow the macaroni and cheese to smoke for at least 1 hour but no more than 2 hours depending on the strength of smoke flavor you desire.

NOTE: For a stronger smoke flavor use either hickory or pecan wood. For a more subtle smoke flavor you’ll want to use one of the various fruit woods such as apple, cherry, orange or peach wood.

6. Once the macaroni and cheese has finished on the smoker pull and allow the skillet to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

7. Prepare the egg wash with 4 eggs and milk. Whisk together until the milk and eggs   are combined. Prepare a gallon zip lock bag with the panic bread crumbs. Set both items aside.

8. Begin scooping out tennis ball sized portions of the cold macaroni and cheese. Mold the macaroni and cheese into smooth rounded tennis ball sized portions.

9. Dip the macaroni and cheese balls on all sides into the egg wash and immediately after drop them no more than four at a time into the gallon bag of panko bread crumbs. Shake the bag and ensure that all of the macaroni and cheese balls are completely covered in breading.

10. In a separate cast iron skillet heat the oil until bubbles form when you place a small stick of wood into the oil. Once the oil is up to the correct temperature place the breaded macaroni and cheese balls into the skillet. Allow the mac and cheese balls to cook for about two minutes on one side before turning for an additional two minutes the other side. Remove the SmoFried mac and cheese balls from the oil and place on an elevated wire rack to allow them to drain off excess oil and allow for cooking.

11. Garnish with dried basil and ENJOY!

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