Fried Garlic Cheese Grits

Created by Brown-Forman Chef Mark Williams, 2012

Yield: Makes 12 servings


  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup coarse stone-ground white grits
  • 1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 6 cups vegetable oil
  • Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer


Bring water, butter, garlic, salt and pepper to a boil in a 4-to-5-quart heavy pot, and then slowly stir in grits. Reduce heat and cook at a bare simmer, covered, stirring frequently until thickened, about 20 minutes. Add cheese. Pour grits into a 2-inch deep pan to cool. Chill grits, covered with plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Portion grits into desired shapes using a small melon scoop.

Put flour, eggs and bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes. Dredge grits balls in flour, knocking off excess, then dip in egg, and dredge in bread crumbs. Transfer coated triangle to a large baking sheet. Continue with remaining grits balls.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Heat oil in a 5-to-6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until it registers 375 degrees on thermometer. Fry grits, stirring gently, until crisp and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, and then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Return oil to 375 degrees between batches. Keep warm in oven until all are done. Serve warm as a side dish or serve with a dipping sauce.