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Jalapeno Mac and Cheese Fries

A perfect midnight snack if we’ve ever seen one.

You guys. There is a whole lot of goodness going on in this sinful little snack. Specifically: mac and cheese, a crunchy jalapeno chip coating, the magic of frying, and a cool ranch dipping sauce.

See? We told you.

This snack isn’t going to win any medals for great nutrition, but it sure satisfies the most monstrous of late night cravings. It’s crunchy, it’s spicy, it’s cheesy, it’s tender… it hits all the right notes. Whether you’re looking for a midnight indulgence or the perfect app for your next game day gathering, these spicy, crunchy “fries” are just the ticket.

Mac and Cheese Fries

Serves 6-8; 45 minutes

Ingredients
  • For the fries:
  • 1 box macaroni and cheese
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup jalapeno flavored potato chips, crushed
  • canola oil, for frying
  • For dipping sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon chives, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dill, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Preparation
  1. Line a rectangular baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Cook macaroni noodles according to package instructions. After draining noodles, place back into pot and add butter, powder mix from the box, half and half, and cheddar cheese. Mix until well combined and cheese has melted.
  3. Spread mac and cheese evenly into prepared baking dish until it's about 1/2 an inch thick. Set in the refrigerator to chill until firm, at least 30 minutes up to overnight.
  4. Once mixture has chilled, slice it into rectangular "fries," about 3 inches long. In three separate shallow dishes, mix dredging ingredients.
  5. In the first shallow dish, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne. To the second dish, add the beaten eggs. To the third dish, add the crushed chips.
  6. To dredge the fries, dip a mac and cheese fry into the flour and roll it until coated. Then, dip it in the egg, and then quickly roll it in the crushed chips. You can dip it once more in egg and then crushed chips if necessary for a thicker coating.
  7. Repeat until remaining fries are coated. In a large pot or deep fryer, heat 2 cups of oil to 350°F.
  8. While oil heats, make the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, garlic powder, chives, and dill. Chill for 30 minutes.
  9. Once oil is heated, fry the dipped fries in batches until golden brown. Then, drain on a paper towel lined plate. Serve immediately with dipping sauce. Enjoy!