Monday, July 19, 2010

Too Right To Be Wrong

If I were Paula Deen and I had some leftover Mac & Cheese, what would I do? I know, fry it! Kat and I saw a video clip of Paula Deen making The Lady's Fried Mac and we were fascinated. I think we both started sizing each other up, just in case we had to arm wrestle to see who would be the lucky one to take that recipe. As fate would have it, I already had The Lady's Cheesy Mac recipe in my pile, so I won this one!

It looked like it was a delicious recipe, but inherently unhealthy. It's mac and cheese (lots of fat), wrapped in bacon (more fat) and then deep fried in oil (eeek!). I used my lightened up version of Mmm...Mac & Cheese, swapped the bacon with turkey bacon, omitted the yolks of the eggs, and made my own whole wheat bread crumbs.

I had a couple of options other than frying. I could try to bake it, but I've didn't know that I would be able to achieve the crunchy texture I was hoping for. I've tried numerous 'oven fried' recipes and while they're good, they're not crispy. I could also pan fry it, which I know would make it crispy, but would also contribute extra calories. Eventually, pan frying won (It's what Paula would have wanted, right!). I only used enough oil to cover the bottom and flipped each side when it got brown.

The final product:

Oh. My. God. These were amazing. I had no words.

Once I composed myself, I was instantly worried that there would be a loud knock and the door and someone would come in and take away my dietitian credentials because I had fallen in love with Fried Macaroni and Cheese. I wanted to marry these golden cubes of cheesy, bacon-y goodness. My only hope was that the nutritional stats would save my hiney. Literally.


Nutritional Information (OLD) Nutritional Information (NEW)
Servings Per Recipe: 15 Servings Per Recipe: 15
Amount Per Serving Amount Per Serving
Calories: 333 Calories: 268
Fat: 33.8 g Fat: 17.1 g
Sodium: 737 mg Sodium: 498 mg
Fiber: 1 g Fiber: 1 g

(Whew). These guys are not something you want to have too often and when you do have them, you really have to watch your portion sizes and limit yourselves. But if Fried Mac & Cheese is what you're craving and nothing else will do, this recipe will save you a few calories and a little bit of fat.

A quick comment on the stats before I share my recipe: I don't know how much fat is really absorbed when you deep fry something, so I just assumed both recipes absorbed the same amount of fat. I suspect less oil would be soaked up with pan frying, but since I don't know how much I calculated both recipes with the same amount of oil.

What's one of your favorite foods that you would like to see Paula Deen fry??

Fried (For Real!) Mac & Cheese

1 Recipie Mmm...Mac & Cheese, chilled and cut into 15 pieces
1 lb turkey bacon
whole wheat flour (for dusting)
3 egg whites, beaten
3 slices whole wheat bread, toasted and ground into crumbs (OR store bought bread crumbs)
1/2 c canola oil

Wrap each square with turkey bacon and use a toothpick to hold into place. Dust each square with flour and then dip in egg whites. Coat with bread crumbs. Place squares into pan with oil and cook each side until golden brown, about 1 minute. Repeat until each side is cooked. Don't forget to remove the toothpick before enjoying!


  1. I sure hope you brought samples!!!!

  2. I am surprised by how much you liked this. It makes me want to try it. To me fried mac and cheese sounds awful. I seem to remember Paula Deen frying cheesecake once. That also sounds awful, but maybe it would be like the fried mac and cheese, and be amazing.

  3. Wow! Fried mac and cheese...what a guilty pleasure. I would be in heaven! My friend just tried a deep fried strawberry shortcake and she said it was amazing.

  4. I think it's because I've been living in Texas for 4 years...they fry everything here. At the State Fair they fry everything from Coca Cola to PB&J sandwiches to S'mores and butter.
    It's probably best not to try it because once you do, you'll know what your missing!
    Strawberry Cheesecake is indulgent enough as it is, I can't imagine frying it, too! Kat and I went to the Rodeo (again, I think it's a Texas thing...) and we shared a fried cupcake and a fried oatmeal cream pie. It was just a hot mess of sugar and sweetness!