How to make cheesy grits with bacon.
David Venable, host of QVC’s In the Kitchen with David has a great twist on a southern favorite! For more great recipes: http://qvc.co/XzmmsJ
Having grown up down south I love grits and anytime you can get creative with grits I’m all for it. This is my recipe for Breakfast poppers with cheesy grits and bacon. What we’re going to do is start with the grit mixture, this is going to be the base for the whole breakfast popper. So what we’ve done is warmed 3 cups of whole milk on top of the stove and fried up 8 strips of bacon and chopped it up nicely, but we reserved 3 tbs of bacon fat. That’s going to go into milk mixture and whisk it up nicely that’s going to help the grits absorb the bacon flavor. It’s a trick I like to use to really ramp up the flavor when you’re cooking. To that we’re going to add salt and pepper, and 1 cup of quick cooking grits. Even though they’re quick cooking, they will need to cook for 5 minutes so you need to keep stirring these over the medium heat after your milk mixture has already warmed incorporating all the salt, pepper and rendered bacon fat — this is going to absorb up all that great flavor and once they’ve taken shape and have thickened we’re going to go to the next step of the recipe. So now these grits are thickened up and ready for the next step of the recipe. I’ll bring this right up to the cutting board — we’re going to add in 8 slices of chopped bacon, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, 3oz of softened cream cheese, the heat of the grits will help melt that and incorporate that. Give it a nice stir, le the heat of the grits incorporate the cheese and the bacon. We’re also going to add in our chopped green onion — 2/3 cup — this is not only going to give you some great flavor but some great color. That creamy wonderful mixture and texture of the grits will incorporate all this cheese and it will melt this cheese and make it so incredibly delicious. Now, once all the cheese is folded in and melted evenly we’re going to transfer this to a 13″ x 9″ dish. Take your spatula, smooth it down and give yourself a nice thin layer because what you want this to do is chill and set up in your refrigerator. What’ also important is to give this enough time in the fridge for all those flavors to incorporate, marinate and give this mixture the wonderful flavor it’s going to be. All right, that’s done and we go into the refrigerator. Once the mixture has cooled in the fridge for a few hours, we’re going to get ready to make the breakfast poppers. Now, these are super simple. We’re going to take a soup spoon. What you want to do is take a little bit of grit mixture and use your hands. This is really easy, wash your hands before you begin. What you want to do is get these about the size of a golf ball. Roll these in your hands, and once you have all the poppers rolled into the size of a golf ball you want to bread them. What we’re going to do is set up a breading station. This is a classic breading station, we’re going to start with all purpose flour, dredge them in egg and then into crushed panko bread crumbs. From there they go into the fryer and we’re ready for breakfast poppers. What you’re going to do is take your popper and go into the flour mixture giving that a nice coating all the way around. Now pick that up and take it into the egg mixture, give it a nice turn so you completely coat it, because we’re going to double bread these, let the excess drip off and go into your dry mixture and go in again and give that a turn. Really simple, really easy. If one hand is always in the dry and one hand is in the wet you don’t’ end up with fingers that look like they’re ready to go into the fryer. We’ll bread one more, into the dry, into the wet, let that drip off, into the dry again using you dry hand. And we’ve done a lot of these ahead of time so we can get this right into the fryer. Probably the best rule of thumb with a fryer this size is only do about 4 at a time because you want to maintain the temperature of the oil because they’ll cook more quickly. Once these are into the oil they only need to cook for about a minute, minute and a half. Let’s go ahead and drop these. So, these are good and done we’ll get them up and out of the oil and let them drain just a little bit and then we’re going to get them onto a plate lined with paper towels. Let’s get them onto the table. Now you want to serve these warm, not right out of the fryer because they’re going to be good and hot on the inside. These are so delicious as appetizers, you can have them for brunch or even serve them for breakfast. But the best part is when you break inside and look what you’ve got. Creamy, smooth, delicious with just that little crunch on the outside, the tender chewiness of the bacon, the wonderful pop of the green onion, and that creamy cheesy grits. This is what breakfast is all about.