I have the pleasure of partnering once again with Annie’s Homegrown, The Feedfeed and Natural Grocers to bring you Arancini Macaroni and Cheese made with Annie’s Organic Macaroni & Cheese and covered with Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies Cracker Crust.
Looking for a fun twist on macaroni and cheese? Or perhaps you have some leftover macaroni and cheese and you are looking for an interesting way to repurpose it? My Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese Arancini recipe can be served as a main course or a side dish — it’s innovative use of pasta is fit for adults as well as kids, and made with ingredients that are easy to find at your local Natural Grocers. An organic grocer that has a large selection of Annie’s Homegrown products, Natural Grocers is having a sale of Annie’s Homegrown products from 8/7 – 8/29. To find a Natural Grocers near you, follow this link: bit.ly/ng-stores. If you find yourself wanting to take full advantage of this sale, try out my recipe for Spicy Soba Noodle Salad, which features Annie’s Organic Asian Sesame Dressing.
In developing this recipe, I found inspiration from Italian arancini, stuffed rice balls usually made with leftover risotto. Essentially, these are fried macaroni and cheese balls coated in crackers. Talk about finger food at its finest!
The key to frying the macaroni balls is creating a crispy exterior using Annie’s Crackers as the crunchy coating. You can choose from any one of the many flavors of Annie’s Homegrown macaroni and cheese and crackers, and I narrowed it down to the Classic Cheddar Mac & Cheese (look for the blue box) and the Organic Cheddar Bunnies Crackers.
It is best to make the macaroni and cheese ahead of time, and refrigerated it overnight so the macaroni and cheese can solidify, and the balls will hold together while frying. I used a 1 1/2 half inch scoop like this one to scoop out the macaroni and form into a nice round ball.
When preparing the cracker crust, I recommend crushing the chips finely with a rolling pin in a plastic bag. Then, simply dip the cheese balls into the egg wash and roll onto the crushed crackers. Preheat canola oil in a pot to 350 degree F to cook for 3 – 4 minutes, or more if you like them ultra crispy. I used a candy thermometer like this one to keep track of the temperature of the oil.
When frying, don’t overcrowd the pot or you’ll lower the temperature too much; three or four at a time should suffice. Also, using a pot too large will mean that you will need more oil; I like this 4-quart pot for recipes like this.
Lastly, drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Dip in ranch dressing (Annie’s make a great one called Cowgirl Ranch), or into your favorite hot sauce. And, as always, I encourage you to shoot me a line in the comment box below. Happy frying! xoM
Arancini Macaroni and Cheese made with Annie’s Organic Macaroni and Cheese and Cheddar Bunnies Cracker Crust
- Candy Thermometer
- 8" square pan
- 2 boxes Annie’s Organic Macaroni and Cheese, prepared according to directions on box
- 1 box Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies Crackers
- 2-3 eggs beatem
- 6 cups canola oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the prepared Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese in an 8-inch square pan and refrigerate overnight.
- Using an ice cream scoop, spoon out a scoop of the refrigerated macaroni and form into the shape of roughly a 2-inch in diameter ball. Repeat until you have used up all the macaroni.
- Pour box of crackers in a 1-gallon freezer bag and seal. Using a rolling pin, gently crush chips into small flakes.
- Pour the crushed crackers onto a shallow bowl or plate. In another shallow bowl, whisk the eggs. Take each macaroni and cheese ball and dip first into egg mixture, covering completely, and then roll on the crackers, pressing the crackers gently to create a cracker crust.
- Heat the oil in a deep 4-quart pot until temperature reads350 with a candy thermometer. Fry 3cracker covered ball at a time for 3 to 4 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with a dipping sauce.