Prep time: 25 minutes, plus 24 hours
Total time: 1 hour
3 tablespoons Lawry’s seasoned salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 pound|454 grams small elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces|170 grams grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
6 ounces|170 grams grated mild cheddar cheese
4 ounces|125 grams grams grated low moisture mozzarella cheese
4 ounces|125 grams grated Monterey Jack cheese
4 ounces|125 grams grated smoked gouda cheese, with rind
2 ½ cups|10 ¾ ounces|305 grams seasoned breadcrumbs
9 large eggs, beaten
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high. Add 2 tablespoons of the Lawry’s and 1 teaspoon of the garlic powder and dissolve, then stir in the pasta and cook until al dente, whatever the package might say. Drain, reserving 1 cup|250 ml water.
- In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the remaining Lawry’s and garlic powder and the paprika and black pepper. While the pasta is still warm, start mixing in the cheddar cheeses, plus the mozzarella and Monterey Jack. Add the reserved pasta water, a little bit at a time, to help the cheese blend and melt. Taste…this is where a little pinch should “wow” you with the flavor. Once cheese is well integrated, spread into a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish and sprinkle with the gouda. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- The next day, place the breadcrumbs and eggs in two separate, shallow dishes. Use an ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons|45 grams) to scoop out the macaroni bites and pack it firmly into a ball. Roll in the eggs, then the breadcrumbs. If the bites don’t seem dry enough, roll into the eggs and breadcrumbs one more time.
- Heat 3-inches oil in a large Dutch oven until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°F. Working in batches, fry the bites until golden brown and the cheese is just starting to pop out, 3 to 5 minutes. Because the pasta is already cooked you are only frying long enough to melt the cheese inside. Serve immediately.
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