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When in Doubt, Fry It

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Pretty much anything fried is good—that’s what I think anyway. And ever since I ate not one but two portions of fried mac & cheese at the now-defunct Mo Pitkin’s House of Satisfaction on the lower east side of Manhattan, I’ve been toying with the idea of making it myself.

So when Jennifer was developing a mac & cheese recipe, my fry-it-if-you-can light bulb went on and at every tasting I kept saying “I think we should fry this,” driving my fellow editors bananas. Don’t get me wrong, Jen’s mac & cheese is delicious as is, but the temptation to fry it was too strong. So finally I took the plunge.

After I made the dish from scratch following the recipe, I cut out a few squares, dipped them in a beaten egg, and then coated them lightly with breadcrumbs. And down they went into the hot oil. I actually pan-fried them (meaning the oil came only about half way up the sides of the squares), and then flipped them once. A little sprinkle of salt and our forks were ready to dig in.

Now, mac & cheese (especially this one) is already rich and satisfying as is, but that extra crispy fried crust made it downright decadent. Sure, it was greasy and maybe not the lightest thing in the world, but it was sort of healthy, too: I used whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread for the breadcrumbs. That counts, right?

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