This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville. The opinions and text are all mine.
I love making party food – and this time of year is ALL about parties! From Holiday parties, to New Years Eve and Saturday football games – it’s always good to have a few great appetizer recipes in your back corner. I make homemade mac and cheese at least once a week so it’s easy to add some extra cheese and some delicious Johnsonville summer sausage and deep fry it for an easy and delicious hor d’oeuvre that everyone will love!
You can use any mac and cheese for this – but you want to make it a little gooier than you might normally have it, I add extra cheese – you could also just add less pasta.
Personally I love cheese and carbs and these are taken up a notch by adding some diced summer sausage. I mean SERIOUSLY delicious. Johnsonville has used the same recipe for 70 years – why mess with a good thing! I usually get a summer sausage in my stocking every year, I’ve always loved pairing it with smoked cheddar and carbs (slices of summer sausage toasted on a bagel with smoked cheddar is my go too lunch during the winter).
Then you want to press it into a pan and either refrigerate or freeze – I go straight to freezing then the next day cut into triangles – BUT if you’d rather scoop them into balls you’ll want to refrigerate them – scoop and roll the next day THEN freeze them.
I love that you can this the day before too – saves time the day of! Not only can you make the mac and cheese and chill it early, you can ALSO cut and coat them early too – just keep the breaded blocks of mac and cheese in the freezer until your ready to fry up! it only takes 2 -2 1/2 mins at 350 degrees and you have a crispy delicious appetizer.
Deep fried mac and cheese bites are amazing and my absolute favorite appetizer to make and eat
- 1/2 C butter
- 1/3 C all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3 C whole milk
- 1 1/2 C heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 lbs mixed shredded cheeses cheddar, smoked cheese, gruyere, monterey jack
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 tsp dried mustard
- 1/3 tsp white pepper
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 2 lbs macaroni - cooked
- 8 oz sharp cheddar shredded
- 6 oz Johnsonville Beef Summer sausage cut into small pieces
- 2-6 eggs
- 3-4 C panko
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- melt the butter and whisk in the flour and corn starch - bring to a beige to toasty shade of roux
- add the milk and cream and bring to a simmer
- take off the heat and let cool about 4 mins, it will thicken
- add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and mustard - stir
- Add the 10 and 6 oz of smoked and sharp cheeses a little at a time and stir until melted
pull out 1 1/2 C sauce and refrigerate for reheating and dipping later
pour the rest of the sauce over the cooked (and drained) macaroni noodles
add the diced sausage and extra cheddar and pour into two 9x13 pans (lined with parchment paper) press down
- freeze 4-8 hours
- pop out the block of mac and cheese and cut into 48 triangles each pan
- beat the eggs 2 at a time in a small bowl (adding more as needed)
- mix the panko and salt and pepper in a large dish
- dip each triangle into the egg, then panko mixture, turning over to get a good coverage
- place off to the side while you do the rest - you can freeze them now or go straight to frying
- heat the oil to 350 degrees - then fry the mac and cheese triangles for 2 - 2 1/2 mins - pull out and let strain over paper towels
serve on its own or with the reheated extra cheese sauce
So if you had a summer sausage to use for a party appetizer what would you make! You know I love to cook, bake and fry, but even a simple cheese and sausage board with crackers is always a huge hit. Hey why not have both? One of the great things about Johnsonville summer sausage is that it doesn’t have to be refrigerated – which is perfect for party foods that sit out so long! Easy and delicious – can’t go wrong with that combo!