Fried Grits

Much as Southerners love grits, nothing is more disgusting than cold, leftover grits that stick obstinately to the pan and make cleaning a maddening job. The solution, of course, is immediately to transfer all leftover grits to a bowl while they’re still warm, beat in an egg or so, chill well, and later on make fried grits for another breakfast or to serve as a side dish for all types of meals. I have Yankee friends who balk at the sight of boiled grits but will devour fried grits as if they were the latest culinary discovery. Some Southerners even serve the squares at cocktail parties—and why not?

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup regular or quick-cooking grits
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup fine bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Method

In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Gradually add the grits, stirring, and cook according to package directions till thick and creamy, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Remove pan from the heat, lightly beat 1 egg, and, stirring constantly, add it to the grits. Scrape the mixture into an 8-inch-square pan or dish and chill till firm.

Cut the mixture into 1½-inch squares or wedges and spread the bread crumbs over a shallow plate. In a small bowl, beat the other egg, dip each square into it, and coat each with bread crumbs.

In a skillet, heat the butter and oil over moderate heat, fry the squares till golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes on each side, and drain briefly on paper towels. Serve hot.