Spicy Mac ‘n’ Cheese Squares

At a glance

Preparation time: 30 minutes plus cooling

Cooking time: 30 minutes plus cooling

Spicy Mac ‘n’ Cheese Squares evolved out of my love of  the ultimate comfort food.  For me, mac ‘n’ cheese must have a crunchy breadcrumb topping. If it doesn’t, I think it can be a bit bland.

So, rather than just give you a mac ‘n’ cheese recipe, here is the way I make it a bit more interesting.  Cooled and set and then covered in breadcrumbs, these squares are great at a party or as a side with something more substantial.

Everyone can make mac ‘n’ cheese so I have just highlighted the changes I make to the cheese sauce and given the steps needed to turn a plate of mac ‘n’ cheese into something different.

Ideally, you will end up with a crisp coating and lots of oozy mac ‘n cheese inside.

 

Ingredients

Cayenne pepper (abt 1/2 a teaspoon)

English Mustard powder (abt 1/2 a teaspoon)

1 tbls tomato sauce

Fresh or panko breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten with a little milk

2 tbls flour

Oil (if frying)

Instructions

For 750ml of cheese sauce:  Add a tbls of tomato sauce and 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper to the cheese sauce after it has thickened and before you stir through the macaroni.  For this recipe to work, your cheese sauce needs to be reasonably thick.  Not concrete like of course ……..

Spread the mac ‘n’ cheese into a large rectangular dish so it is about 2cm deep then put it into the fridge for a good 3-4 hours.  The white sauce needs to set.

Once the mac ‘n’ cheese is set, you can work with it.  Cut the mac ‘n’ cheese into squares about 3cm x 3 cm and then put it back in the fridge while you prepare the coating.

In a bowl, mix 1/2 tsp of English mustard powder and lots of freshly cracked back pepper with a couple of heaped tbls of plain flour.  In another bowl, beat an egg with a little milk.  Finally, put lots of lovely fresh breadcrumbs into a third bowl.

Dip each Mac ‘n’ cheese square in the flour, then the egg and coat in the breadcrumbs.   Once done, put it back inn the fridge to firm up again.

Finally, dip them in the egg and breadcrumbs a second time – this makes sure you have a lovely thick coating and gives some delicious bite to the squares..

You can either  shallow fry the squares or heat then in the oven.  If heating in the oven, about 30 mins at 180 degrees (160 fan) should be enough.

I prefer to shallow fry them until the breadcrumbs are a nice gold colour and then drain them on kitchen paper.