Mac N Cheese Firecrackers

The Art Institute of Charlotte Senior chef Wendy White

Firecracker Hot & Spicy®

15 minutes

30 minutes


Mac N Cheese
3 oz. Firecracker Hot & Spicy®, finely ground
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups heavy cream
2 eggs
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ small onion, minced
1 small jalapeno, minced
1 tbsp. butter
½ tsp. garlic, minced
3 oz. panko bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 ½ cups dry elbow noodles
All-purpose flour as needed
Dry mustard as needed
Hot sauce to taste

Cilantro Gremolata
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup fresh parsley
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 slices sourdough bread, cubed
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Mac N Cheese
Cook elbow noodles in water to al dente. Drain and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine heavy cream, 2 eggs, salt, pepper, hot sauce, dry mustard, and cheese. Set aside. In a saucepan, using the butter, sweat onions and jalapeno until soft. Add in minced garlic and cook until softened. Combine the onion mixture and the heavy cream mixture into the saucepan; cook until the cheese is fully melted and starting to thicken. Once thickened, add the noodles and combine well. Cool in the freezer or refrigerator until very cool and the mixture is firm enough to shape into a bowl. While waiting, combine Firecracker Hot & Spicy®, and panko in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the other 2 eggs. In a third bowl, place the flour and season with a little salt. Once the mix is cool, shape a small handful into a ball and use the standard breading method to bread the balls. Once breaded, deep fry at 350°, for about 3 or 4 minutes or until golden brown.

Cilantro Gremolata
Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor, and puree 30 seconds to 1 minute or until ingredients are granular, not smooth. Scrape gremolata into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or keep refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 week.


Tags: Art Institute, fall recipe, Firecracker Hot & Spicy, jalapeno, mac and cheese, recipe

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