Macaroni Cheese Chips

  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 200g grated cheddar
  • 100g macaroni, cooked according to packet instructions, then drained and cooled
  • 100g rindless shoulder bacon, roughly chopped and fried until crisp
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups panko crumbs
  • 1 litre canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 avocados
  • cracked black pepper to taste

Macaroni Cheese Chips

To make a cheese sauce, warm the milk, nutmeg, smoked paprika and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming but not boiling. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat, add the flour and stir until it begins to foam and loses its raw taste (about 3 minutes; do not allow to brown). Turn off the heat, whisk in the hot milk and return to a low–medium heat. Continue whisking until the mixture is thickened to ensure a smooth sauce (about 4 minutes). Fold in the grated cheese, then place in a large mixing bowl with the cooked pasta and bacon. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and spread in the macaroni and cheese mix evenly to a thickness of 2cm–3cm (1 inch). Press firmly and cool, then refrigerate until completely cold (at least 1 hour). Lift out onto a chopping board and remove the baking paper, then cut into 8 slices like giant chips. Place the flour on a plate. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a shallow bowl. Coat the rectangle chips in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip the flour-coated macaroni in the egg mixture, then into the breadcrumbs, pressing gently with your fingertips to help them stick. Return the coated macaroni to the refrigerator, covered, for at least 2 hours to set firm. Heat the vegetable or canola oil in a deep saucepan to 180°C and fry the crumbed macaroni chips in batches for 3–4 minutes until golden. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then serve immediately with wedges of avocado topped with cracked pepper.