Southern cooks have a secret-- pimiento cheese is just as delicious as an appetizer as it is on a sandwich or cracker. By giving the pimiento cheese bites a quick fry, they gain a crisp crust that pairs perfectly with the slightly melted cheese on the inside of the popper.
Southern Living JANUARY 2008
1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Gradually whisk in flour until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in 2 cups milk and next 3 ingredients; cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in Cheddar cheese and pimiento until melted and smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in pasta.
3. Line a 13- x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap, allowing several inches to extend over edges of pan. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Cool slightly; cover and chill 8 hours. Remove macaroni mixture from pan, and cut into 1-inch squares.
4. Stir together breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish or pie plate. Whisk together eggs and 1/2 cup milk in another shallow dish or pie plate; dip macaroni bites in egg mixture, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
5. Pour oil to depth of 1 inch in a large skillet; heat to 350°. Fry bites, in batches, 2 minutes on each side or until golden.
Golden Baked Macaroni and Pimiento Cheese: Prepare recipe as directed through Step 2. Pour macaroni mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish; do not chill. Omit eggs and 1/2 cup milk. Stir together breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over mixture. Omit oil. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
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