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These Cheesy Grit Cakes Have the Crispiest Edges
2024/04/12

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Have you ever reached for another scoop of , only to find that the delicious, creamy porridge has started to firm up? Well, these grit cakes take advantage of that solidifying superpower! Take your grits and give them a new lease on life by refrigerating them in a large baking pan. As they cool, the starchy porridge forms a large, firm cake that can be cut into any shape—squares, rounds, or even hearts—with a biscuit or , or just a knife! After dredging the cut-out cakes in seasoned flour, they're quickly fried until golden and delicious. Starring a crispy exterior that yields to a cheesy, creamy center, this 

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can be served with shrimp for a play on or simply topped with a fried egg. The cakes also pair wonderfully with tender !

What kind of grits are in grit cakes?

These grit cakes are made with regular stone-ground grits. Because of the thickening power of corn, grit cakes can be made with any fully cooked corn porridge, whether it is coarser ground polenta, medium grind grits, or quick-cooking grits. Just make sure you still mix in the egg to keep everything bound together.

Can you make grit cakes in advance?

Because this recipe begins with cooking then chilling a batch of grits, it is the perfect make-ahead masterpiece! The grits can be made up to 3 days in advance before being portioned out and fried.

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They can even be sliced, frozen solid on a sheet tray, and stored in a zip-top bag for up to 1 month. When the craving strikes, allow the grit cakes to thaw at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Then, follow the instructions for dredging and frying. After they are fried, grit cakes can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. To reheat, the grit cakes can be baked or air-fried at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until heated through, about 10 minutes. They can also be microwaved for 1 to 2 minutes.

4 c.

chicken broth

3 c.

milk

2

garlic cloves, grated 

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1 tsp.

kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

2 c.

stone-ground grits

1

large egg

2 c.

shredded cheddar cheese

4 tbsp.

salted butter, cubed and softened

3/4 tsp.

ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste

Nonstick cooking spray

1/2 c.

all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil, for frying

Chopped fresh chives, for serving

Step  1 In a large pot, bring the chicken broth, milk, garlic, and ½ teaspoon of salt to a simmer over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the grits. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring frequently, until the grits are tender, 15 to 20 minutes or according to package directions. Step  2 In a small bowl, beat the egg.

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Spoon ¼ cup of the hot grits into the egg, stirring constantly. Add the egg mixture back to the pot of grits, stirring until well combined. Stir in the cheese and butter until melted and well combined. Add ½ teaspoon of pepper and salt to taste. Step  3 Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spoon the grits into the prepared pan, smoothing into an even layer with a rubber spatula. Press a large piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the grits. Step  4 Allow the grits to cool for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before placing the pan in the refrigerator. Chill until the grits are set, 3 hours or up to 3 days in advance.

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Step  5 Place the flour in a shallow dish or pie plate. Whisk in the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Step  6 Using a 2- or 2 ½-inch round biscuit cutter, cut the grit cakes into rounds. (Or, slice them into 2-inch squares.) Dredge the cakes in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Step  7 To a large cast-iron skillet, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet by about ½ inch. Heat over medium high to 350°F. Working in batches, place the grit cakes in the skillet. Cook, without moving (they are fragile), until golden brown on one side, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip, then continue to cook the other side until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes more. Step  8 Drain the grit cakes on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and chopped chives. Serve hot or warm.

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