This month’s Recipe Redux theme takes us on on a trip down vacay memory lane. We were asked to reflect on a memorable vacation meal and create a healthier version. It took me some time to think about this one. I started going through vacations one by one. Then, it hit me. Charleston, SC. Home of fried food at its best.
I was there this time last year speaking about social media at the Baratric Summit. Even though it was a short trip, we were able to immerse ourselves in some good ol’ Southern cooking. We ended up at a happy hour before dinner one night and we ordered some “bar bites”. Sweet potato tater tots and fried mac n’ cheese bites were our pre-dinner snacks. Although not the healthiest of choices, they were pretty tasty. So I decided to create a healthier version of the fried mac n’ cheese bites.
Baked Mac N’ Cheese Bites
- 1/2 lb elbow macaroni
- 2.5 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp dry mustard
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 4 oz grated sharp white cheddar
- 4 oz grated smoked gouda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1 egg, beaten + 1/2 tbsp water
- Cook pasta according to directions on package and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat butter over medium-high heat. Once foaming, whisk in flour and dry mustard. Whisk for about 1 minute and add in milk. Once the liquid is boiling, turn down the heat to simmer.
- Let simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, Greek yogurt and a pinch of salt. Stir in the pasta and then store in the refrigerator until cold enough that you can mold the mac n’ cheese.
- Once cooled, form the mac n’ cheese into bite sized shapes. Dip the mac n’ cheese bites into the bread crumbs, egg wash, and then bread crumbs again. Place the bites on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 min at 400 degrees.
Line ’em up!
Nice n’ crispy
Crispy on the outside. Gooey on the inside.
Serve these with a nice big salad to balance things out a bit :). Baked, not fried was a winner in my book!