Every single holiday I tell myself I should do a holiday-themed DudeFoods post and nine times out of ten — hell, who am I kidding, it’s probably more like 19 out of 20 — I procrastinate and completely forget about it.
This year however — mainly because I need stuff to talk about on my new podcast — I actually did it! What’s even crazier is that this Valentine’s Day-themed post is actually up an entire week before Valentine’s Day!
A few weeks ago I made a Big Mac that had Flamin’ Hot Cheetos breaded macaroni and cheese buns and still had a leftover bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos from that so I figured that their redness would lend itself well to a Valentine’s Day recipe. I also have a habit of buying random kitchen gadgets that I plan to use for DudeFoods sometime down the road — although more often than not they just sit in one of my kitchen drawers indefinitely — so I also had a silicone heart mold on hand. Then the idea came to me — I should make macaroni and cheese hearts, bread them in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and deep fry them!
A day later however I was on Facebook and saw someone share a video that Food Network made where they cut mozzarella cheese into heart shapes, breaded them in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and deep fried them. Whatever though, macaroni and cheese is better than a plain chunk of mozzarella anyway so I decided to go along with the original idea, and I’m glad I did because these Deep Fried Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Breaded Macaroni and Cheese Hearts turned out amazing!
The only real downfall to making these is having to freeze the macaroni and cheese hearts prior to breading them in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and again prior to deep frying them, but next time I make them I’ll probably just do all of that ahead of time so I don’t have to wait two hours to eat them because it was not an easy two hours….
- 2 quarts oil for frying
- 1 bag (8½ ounces) Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
- 8 ounces pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups plus 1½ tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
- Ranch or your preferred dipping sauce
- You’ll also need a silicone heart mold similar to this one
- Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.
- In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and stir in 1½ tablespoons flour flour. Add 1½ cups milk and reduce heat to low. Stir in cheese slowly until melted and pour over cooked pasta.
- Transfer macaroni and cheese into silicone heart mold and freeze for an hour or until the macaroni and cheese hearts are frozen through.
- Set up a dredging station with three bowls — flour in the first one, 3 beaten eggs and ½ cup milk in the second one and crushed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in the third one.
- Coat each macaroni and cheese heart in flour, submerge in egg wash and cover in crushed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Repeat this step a second time if necessary and then place back in the freezer for another hour.
- Heat oil in deep fryer or heavy skillet to 375°F and fry Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Breaded Macaroni and Cheese Hearts for 5 minutes.
- Drain on paper towels and serve with ranch or your preferred dipping sauce.