There is almost too much goodness here with the combo of broccoli and cheddar mixed with mac 'n' cheese.
For the balls:
1/2 pound elbow pasta
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
1 medium Yukon Gold potato
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk, warmed
1 pound cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
4 string cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Bacon bits, for garnish
Chives, for garnish
For the buttermilk ranch:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chives
2 tablespoons dill
1 tablespoon parsley
Let's get Cooking...
In a large pot, cook macaroni according to package directions. A few minutes before pasta is finished, toss in broccoli. Shock pasta and broccoli in cold water to stop cooking.
Grate potato and squeeze out all liquid. Set aside on paper towels to dry out.
In another large saucepan, melt butter and whisk in flour to create a roux. Add the warmed milk and whisk until lumps are gone. Add grated cheese, salt and pepper and stir until melted.
Add pasta, broccoli and potatoes, and stir until well combined. Remove from heat, and place in refrigerator for 2 hours.
In a large saucepan, preheat oil to 350 degrees.
Use small scoops of the chilled macaroni mixture to create balls around each cube of string cheese. Firmly press panko breadcrumbs around the balls to coat. Carefully drop mac and cheese balls into preheated oil and brown on all sides. Set on paper towels to dry.
In a small bowl, combine all the buttermilk ranch ingredients. Serve alongside mac and cheese balls garnished with bacon bits and chives. Enjoy!