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Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Hour Friday Featuring Mac & Cheese!

Bar food can be either good for you or just plain good. Seldom haove I found a place that puts out a healthy free food friday. Today I focused on a classic, Mac & Cheese but, definitely not the way your used to!

The recipes below I have located all over the web. The menus are from various bars in various cities across the nation. If any of my readers have bar food they love and want to know how to make it at home, please send me the info so I can pass it on!

The Saddle Club Alpine
 211 E Holland Ave, Alpine, TX (432) 837-9770
(This one is from my neck of the woods)

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons white truffle oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 pound Swiss cheese, grated
1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 pound Fontina cheese, grated
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces elbow macaroni

1. To make the truffled mac and cheese recipe, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of the truffle oil.

3. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is thoroughly combined and forms a paste. Whisk in the half-and-half, bring to a simmer, and cook for 3 minutes.

4. Stir in the Swiss, cheddar, and Fontina cheeses and then add the mustard. Remove the sauce from the heat when the cheeses have melted. Stir in the remaining truffle oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over medium heat and cook the macaroni for about 7 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta and add to the saucepan with the cheese sauce. Stir well.

6. Turn the macaroni and cheese into a buttered 2-quart baking dish. (At this point you could refrigerate the casserole dish for up to 24 hours.) Top the casserole with the breadcrumb mixture and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling.

Deluxe Bar & Grill 
625 Broadway Ave. East  Seattle, WA 98102  (206) 324-9697

1 (7.25 ounce) package macaroni and cheese mix
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup pimento cheese spread
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
 2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste 
4 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
4 cups peanut oil for frying, or as needed

1) Fill a pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the macaroni is cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 7 minutes. Drain. Stir in the 2 tablespoons butter, the 1/4 cup milk, and the cheese packet from the package.

2) While the macaroni is still hot, stir in the Cheddar cheese, pimento cheese spread, and Italian cheese blend, and continue to stir until melted. Place the macaroni and cheese mixture in a container and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

3) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the macaroni mixture from the refrigerator, and, using a cookie scoop, scoop into balls. Place mac balls on the prepared baking sheet and freeze for at least 2 hours.

4) Heat oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

5) Whisk the bread crumbs with the paprika, chili powder, black pepper, sugar, and cayenne in a shallow dish; set aside. Beat the eggs with the 3 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Remove the mac balls from the freezer, coat in the egg wash, and then dredge in breading.

6) Fry the mac balls in small batches until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain briefly on a paper towel-lined plate; serve hot.

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