Breakfast Poppers with Grits & Bacon
No bowl required! Thanks to this recipe, you can enjoy your grits (and bacon!) in the form of crispy, delicious, bite-sized snacks.
Tip: If for some reason you don’t like bacon, you can substitute 1 cup uncooked sausage. Just cook it in margarine instead of bacon fat.
Extra Suggestion: For a delicious spin on this recipe, try forming the grit-mixture into patties (about 3-inches in diameter) instead of balls. Coat as directed, but sauté the patties over medium heat until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes on each side. Serve with over-easy eggs and toast.
- 8 slices thick-cut raw bacon, chopped
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 Tbsp bacon fat
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup instant grits
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2/3 cup green onion, chopped
- 3 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, well beaten
- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
Cook the bacon in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat until all the fat has rendered and the bacon is fully cooked. Strain the bacon in a colander reserving 3 Tbsp of fat; set bacon aside.
Combine the milk, bacon fat, salt, and black pepper in a medium-sized sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add the grits, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the cooked bacon, cheddar cheese, green onion, and cream cheese. Place the mixture into a 9" x 13" pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until well chilled.
Once cool, preheat a deep fryer to 350°F. Place the bread crumbs into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Pour the beaten eggs into a second bowl. Then, place the flour into a third bowl. Remove the grit-mixture from the fridge. Measure out 2 Tbsp and roll the helping into a small ball. Repeat.
Toss the balls in flour, then in the eggs, followed by the bread crumbs. Fry, in small batches of 8 balls at a time, for 4 minutes. Serve immediately.