Something about Fried Grits, or Grit Cakes. I did a live stream on Instagram over the weekend to demonstrate my recipe for Quick Grits and decided smack-dab in the middle of it that I was going to use them to make Fried Grits, so here we are! In the deep south, now!!
Fried Grits are also called Grits Cakes or Grit Cakes (I go with the latter, it rolls off my tongue better) and are exactly what they sound like: breaded and fried little bites of creamy grits! Even my youngest daughter who doesn’t care for fried food but loves grits enjoyed them.
Fried Grits (Grit Cakes) Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Fried Grits (Grit Cakes) recipe:
- Cooked grits: You can use any type of grits – stone-ground or quick-cooking – as long as you’ve cooked them completely. Make sure you’ve just cooked them, or they’re at least still very warm so it’s easy to spread them into a single layer. You don’t want to reheat them for this, that’ll make things gummy.
- Panko breadcrumbs: You can run them through the food processor to make them smaller if you like. Make sure they’re seasoned, or season them yourself!
- All-purpose flour: A light dusting to give the egg was something to adhere to. The egg will slide right off the cold grits.
- Large eggs, whole milk, seasoned salt: This makes our egg wash, which is what will give the breadcrumbs something to stick to.
- Peanut oil: My preferred frying oil. Use whatever you like.
How to Make Fried Grits (Grit Cakes)
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Fried Grits (Grit Cakes) recipe:
- Cool the grits. Grab a sheet pan, a large Tupperware-style container, or a baking dish and pour your freshly cooked, still hot grits into it. Use a spatula to smooth the grits into an even layer, no more than 1/2″ thick. Cover loosely and let rest on the counter until cooled, then cover tightly and refrigerate until the grits are completely chilled.
- Mise en Place. Grab a few shallow bowls: in one beat together the two eggs, seasoned salt, and the whole milk. In the second, pour the flour, and in the third, add the breadcrumbs. Arrange these on your workspace in order: first flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. You might want to grab an extra plate to rest the breaded grit cakes on and flour that lightly so they don’t stick to it.
- Make the cakes. Pull your grits from the fridge and use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds, or just use a knife to cut them into evenly sized squares. Lift them gently out of the pan, and transfer them to the flour. Use a fork or your fingers to lightly coat the grit cake in flour on both sides, dust off the excess then transfer it to the egg. Submerge and flip to coat again, let the excess drip off, then transfer to the breadcrumbs. I like to use a spoon to spoon the breadcrumbs over the top and sides of the cakes, rather than trying to flip them because they tend to break. You do whatever works for you! After all the grit cakes are breaded and ready to fry, transfer them to the freezer. Let them rest there while you heat the oil, so they are less likely to fall apart.
- Fry the grits. Heat a very shallow layer of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat: it should’t come more than halfway up the sides of the grit cakes. When the oil is shimmering (you can toss a breadcrumb in and see if it sizzles, too) it’s ready. Very carefully add the grit cakes to the oil. Slide them off the spatula into the oil so you don’t risk breaking them or causing a splash. Fry for 2 minutes, or until golden brown, then carefully flip with a spatula and continue frying for another 2-3 minutes. I like my Fried Grits crunchier and darker so I leave mine in a minute or two extra on each side (see the photo for the difference). Keep warm on a wire rack above a baking sheet in a 300°F oven while you cook the rest. Dassit!
What To Serve With Fried Grits (Grit Cakes)
These Fried Grits (Grit Cakes) go with anything regular grits would go with! Here are some ideas from deepfriedhoney.com to round out your breakfast:
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