If Shrimp and Grits Were A Religion: Shrimp and Grit Fritters
I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately. If shrimp and grits were a religion, would I convert? I’ve come to the conclusion that my faith is integral to who I am, but I would certainly find a way to integrate shrimp and grits into what I already believe.
What’s most interesting about this is I spent the bulk of my childhood convinced that I hated grits. Granted, like most kids, I’d made up my mind about that before actually trying grits, but nonetheless, I didn’t touch grits at all until college. Then I had the utterly tragic experience of eating cheese grits cooked by a friend on a hotplate. I don’t recommend that, by the way. So I didn’t eat grits again until about 15 years ago.
The first time I ate grits that were actually fully cooked, it was in a restaurant in Texas and I ate them in the form of shrimp and grits. It’s worthwhile to note here that if a restaurant has shrimp and grits on their menu, I use that entree to determine whether I’ll eat there again. I take shrimp and grits pretty seriously. If you’re ever in Houston…go to Ouisie’s Table, eat the shrimp and grits. They’re life-changing.
I’ve made shrimp and grits with grilled shrimp, fried shrimp, as a casserole, with buttered grits, cheese grits, plain grits and loved just about every one. You know what I’d never done before? Made shrimp and grits into an appetizer. Yep…a bite-sized fritter. The idea was out there. I found talk of it online, but it was always deep-fried. You and I both know I love the taste of deep-fried, but my thighs protest the exercise required to eat that way.
Why not bake them? It’s a question we could ask with a lot of different fried items…and in this case, it’s a question that had an answer. You can absolutely bake them. It took a little trial and error, but the result was a shrimp and grits fritter that fit the bill. A nice crispy outside and a tasty and filling inside. Full of great southern flavor it’s a fritter that does not disappoint.
These made a great appetizer, but could be used to top a spinach salad, made into a po-boy, or just be a nice side dish. Try ’em, you won’t be sad you did. I wasn’t.
- Serving size: 2 fritters
- Calories: 85
- Fat: 3.5 g
- Saturated fat: 1.4 g
- Unsaturated fat: 1.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 6.3 g
- Sodium: 140 mg
- Fiber: 0.2 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Cholesterol: 96.6 mg
- 1 cup cooked stone ground grits
- ¼ pound cooked, chopped shrimp
- 1½ teaspoons lemon zest
- ½ cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg (combined with water for a wash)
- 1½ cups panko bread crumbs
- Old Bay for dusting after cooking
- Combine grits, shrimp, lemon zest and cheese in a medium bowl.
- Form mixture in 24 balls (using a ½ oz scoop makes it a bit easier if you have one). Place each ball on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- Roll the balls in egg wash and then smoosh into the panko, forming small discs and coating top and bottom thoroughly with the breadcrumbs.
- Place back on the baking sheet/parchment. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes switch the oven to broil and broil each side until slightly browned.
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