makes about 32 fritters
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
4 cups milk
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese
8 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
2 green onions, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
3 cups panko
Prepare grits according to packing directions, using milk and salt. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and next 3 ingredients, stirring until cheese is melted. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish or pan, and chill 4 to 24 hours.
Roll grits into 1 1/2-inch balls. Whisk together eggs and 1/4 cup water. Dip balls in egg wash, and roll in breadcrumbs.
Pour oil to depth of 3 inches into a large heavy skillet; heat over medium-high heat to 350º. Fry fritters, in batches, 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Keep fritters warm on a wire rack in a pan in a 225º oven up to 30 minutes. Serve warm.
bacon recipe source: Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South's Favorite Food Groups, by Morgan Murphy (@_MorganMurphy) and the Editors of Southern Living Magazine (Oxmoor House/Southern Living/Time House Entertainment, Inc., 2014)