Use a medium-size ice cream scoop to divide cold macaroni and cheese into balls. Place onto a pan and keep chilled.
Prepare the dredging station:First dish: All purpose flour. Second dish: Whisk together eggs. salt, pepper and hot sauce for the egg wash.Third dish: Whisk together panko, Parmesan, garlic and onion powders.
To coat: Lightly dust each ball with flour, then dip into egg wash, roll in panko. Roll into a ball. Repeat until all are coated. (It's handy to have nearby a large baking pan to place breaded mac and cheese balls on until frying.)
To fry: Heat oil in a deep pot or dutch oven to 350-360°F. Fry mac and cheese balls in batches for around 2-3 minutes, until golden, turning as needed for even browning. Keep oil around 350°F. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Serve immediately garnished with green onion, chives or parsley.
The key to making this dish is, the macaroni and cheese needs to be fully baked, cooled and thoroughly chilled. This is necessary for the balls to hold together.
It's best to use a non flavored oil to fry these balls. Either vegetable, canola or peanut oil.
When frying, keep the oil around 350°F frying just until the panko breading is crispy and golden.
There's no wrong size to make these mac and cheese balls. It all depends on the size scoop you use. For a bite size version, roll them meatball size. For an appetizer, a 2 ounce scoop works well. As a side dish, use a 4 ounce scoop, the most typical size for a scoop of ice cream. Just know, the yield could be more or less.