Monday, May 16, 2016

Bacon Gouda Grit Fritters & Pepper Jelly Dipping Sauce

So last week I shared a recipe for grits & grillades.  Well, when I made that...I made a lot of extra grits.  Why? Because it was Potluck Time at work!  We try to do these quarterly (which, really, it's probably a good thing they're not more frequent otherwise we'd all have some serious health issues), and they're usually somewhat themed.  This one was "Spring Cleaning"--as in, what can you throw together from what's in your fridge/pantry that needs to be used up?

I'll admit...I chose this theme explicitly so I could make this recipe, because it requires cold grits as the base.  I've had this recipe in my Pinterest for-ev-er, so it's really a two-fer...I would need to make some OTHER recipe that involved grits, and then use the leftover grits to make these fritters, and then BAM--two blog posts.
Delicious, delicious gluttony. 

Also--the original recipe calls for pan-frying these.  But I did the first four as a test batch fried and burnt the crap out of my they were trying to fall apart a little bit, so I figured the less I had to move them around, the better. I opted to oven-fry them instead (also easier since I prepped them the night before, but actually cooked them AT work right before the potluck so they'd be hot). And, you know, a little healthier too.

  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda
  • 1 diced green onion
  • 6 slices low sodium bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 large eggs + 1/4 cup water
  • 1.5 cup Panko crumbs
  • 1.5 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Misto olive oil spray
  • ½ cup Red Pepper Jelly
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Cook grits & broth according to package instructions.  Then add the cajun seasoning, gouda, green onion, and bacon and mix well.  Lightly grease a 8x8 pan and then pour the grit mixture in and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

When ready to prep your fritters, create a work station--in one bowl, combine the egg (beaten) and water, and the panko+breadcrumbs in a second bowl.  Then grab your grits and roll into small balls (I opted to create all my fritter-balls first, THEN batter them to streamline things).  

Roll each ball in the egg mixture and then toss in the breadcrumbs and place on a greased cookie sheet.  If you're not cooking right away, you can freeze these to help keep the breading crisp.

To oven-fry, preheat your oven to 425F, then spray the tops of the fritters with olive oil (this helps them to crisp up and brown).  Bake for 15 minutes, then flip, and bake for 15 more minutes.

While they're baking, you can make the dipping sauce.  In a small bowl, combine the pepper jelly, mustard, and vinegar, and microwave for about 20-30 seconds until smooth.
Serve the fritters while warm (seriously--they're no where near as good when cold or even room temp) with the pepper jelly sauce.  

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