I can’t serve breakfast for dinner at City Grit without incorporating grits in to the menu. And for last week’s supper club, I knew two things – I didn’t want to serve shrimp and grits nor did I want to serve grits with the main course. This meant I had to get creative.
Since they didn’t go with the Breakfast Dashi or the Chamomile Ice Cream, I decided I’d make little grits cakes and incorporate them into the salad course, alongside an arugula salad with a poached egg and onion jam, as croutons! Even though I’d tried to make grits cakes before, I was never pleased with the outcome. It’s a culinary failure that’s been hanging over me like a dark cloud.
I decided this time, I’d try it over and over until I got it right. So the Sunday before supper club, I spent the morning in the kitchen cooking, chilling, slicing and frying grits until I’d landed on the perfect recipe not only for grits cakes, but for grits croutons.
- 1 cup reduced fat milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup quick cooking grits
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup smoked Cheddar cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- Canola Oil
- Combine the water, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, making sure to scrap the bottom of the pan every so often to make sure the bottom isn’t burning.
- Once the liquid is boiling, slowly add grits in a stream, whisking constantly until they return to a boil. Reduce heat, add the salt, and gently simmer, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
- Add the cheese, stirring with a heatproof spatula until just combined. Give the grits a taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Place a heaping spoonful of grits into the bowl with the beaten egg. Quickly whisk the grits into the egg to temper them. Add the egg and grits mixture back to the pan of stir until fully combined.
- Pour the grits into a quarter sheet pan (7×12), smoothing over the top with a rubber spatula.
- Once they’ve cooled, cover and refrigerate the pan for at least one hour and preferably two.
- Slice grits into even cubes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and use the tip of the knife to remove a corner cube from the pan. Using a spatula or a knife, transfer the grits from the pan to a plate.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the grit squares to the pan.
- Cook them for 2-4 minutes on each side (once they’ve browned around the edges, they are ready to turn).
- Transfer them from the pan to a paper-towel lined plate and repeat with the remaining squares.
- Serve immediately.
Notes: This recipe makes between 30-40 croutons. I don’t often recommend using quick cooking grits for any recipes. But when you’re going to fry these little guys, you might as well go with the cheaper, easier to cook variety of grits.
Tempering the eggs is very important. This ensures that you are able to bring the temperature of the egg closer to the temperature of the grits so the egg doesn’t scramble when you add it to the pot. No one wants chunks of egg in their grits cakes!
What you’ll need: A medium saucepan, a whisk, a quarter sheet pan, and a large nonstick skillet,
What you want to know: Based on an estimate that the recipe makes 35 croutons, each crouton would be 24 calories, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram protein. 1 gram of carbs, no fiber, and 1 Weight Watchers Point.