Bacon Grits Arancini

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes about

    24

Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

It is hard to believe that anyone would ever have grits left over, but if you do, just follow the recipe from the second step down. We serve these with everything from sausage gravy to Piperade, and you can make the argument that grits are great with everything.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (960 ml) whole milk
  • cups (215 g) instant grits
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup (50 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces (170 g) goat cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 12 thin slices bacon, cooked until crisp and coarsely chopped
  • 3 green onions (dark green and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 1 (1-pound/455-g) block white cheddar cheese, cut into 24 equal squares
  • 6 cups (1.4 L) canola oil
  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups (240 g) panko bread crumbs

Method

In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the grits and continue whisking until the mixture is thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes.

Whisk in 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, the Parmesan, sriracha, butter, and goat cheese until smooth. Remove from the heat, then fold in the bacon and green onions. Scrape the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 8 hours, or up to 48 hours.

Scoop a scant ¼ cup (60 ml) of the grits into one hand, forming it into a flat disk. Place a cube of cheddar cheese into the center of the disk and, using your hands, gently form the grits into a ball around the cheese. Place the arancini onto the baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or a Dutch oven until it reaches 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels.

Place the flour, eggs, and panko in three separate shallow dishes and season each lightly with salt and pepper. Working in batches, dredge the arancini in flour, shaking off any excess; dip into egg, then transfer to the panko, covering the arancini completely and pressing lightly to adhere.

Fry the arancini until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to the prepared baking sheet. Serve hot or at room temperature.