When I make risotto I usually make extra to make one of my favorite appetizers, Arancini Di Risa (fried risotto balls) the next day. They always are a hit at any party. When I started looking at way to utilize grits; and in particular shrimp and grits. I started thinking in the back of my mind about these lovely golden fried balls that I stuff with a piece of cheese. Why not encase a piece of shrimp in flavorful cheese grits? Better yet, for anyone that doesn't like shrimp we could use pieces of sausage or cheese. I could pair these with a savory cajun style or traditional shrimp sauce. I will leave that up to you. Remember you need to cook your grits with less
liquid and let it cool completely to let the starch set up. That will enable the balls to stick together while frying.
For the cheese grits -
2 cups stone ground premium white grits
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup milk
water to achieve proper consistency
1 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup grated fontina cheese
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
For the breading station -
1 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
2 eggs beaten
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1. Add the butter to a large sauce pan and the grits and toast on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth and milk to the sauce pan and bring to a boil while stirring with a whisk and continue cooking until grits soften (about 15 minutes). Grate the cheeses and add while stirring, season with salt to taste and add water to achieve proper consistency. Let cool. Note: we want a fairly stiff mixture.
2. Clean and devein the shrimp. Cook the shrimp in their shell. Peel and remove the shells then dice into one half to three quarter inch pieces. If you are using sausage, brown the sausage and cut into pieces.
3. Using a small scoop, scoop out some of the grits mixture. using your finger make a hole in the mix and insert the filling. Gather up the mixture to encase the filling and form into a ball.
4. Create a standard breading station, with one container of seasoned flower, one of beaten egg and one of bread crumbs. I prefer Panko Japanese crumbs.
5. Heat up oil for deep frying to 350 degrees F. Roll the balls in the flour shaking of any excess, then in the beaten egg then roll in the bread crumbs. deep fry until golden brown and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with or without a sauce.
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How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.