Southern cuisine is definitely on the rise and more often than not, you’ll find that grits are big part of this good ol’ comfort food. Today you can find grits at trendy restaurants all over Canada, so keep an eye out for them!

Grits are usually stone ground to achieve a fairly coarse corn meal similar to polenta. You’ll often find them served as a side, but there are a few dishes, like New Orleans’ style BBQ shrimp and grits, which really showcase their creamy goodness. Sub out those average mashed potatoes for grits in your next family meal. Trust me, they go with almost everything.

Here I decided to cook them in a classic way, but then I refrigerate them, cut them, and deep-fry them into fries! This goes perfectly with some Old Bay-flavoured mayo dip to really transport you down to the country.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Serves: 6 – 8

Ingredients:

For the Old Bay Mayo:
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp old bay seasoning
½ tsp white vinegar

For the Grit Fries:
1 cup medium ground white grits
2 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups heavy cream
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¾ cup grated Gruyère
¾ cup grated sharp cheddar
½ cup cornstarch
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
Peanut oil or canola oil, for frying
Finishing salt (such as Maldon Salt)
Chopped parsley, garnish

Directions:

For the Old Bay Mayo:
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set in the fridge until ready to serve.

For the Grit Fries:
1. Place the grits, water, heavy cream, butter, salt and pepper in a sauce pot, and place over medium heat.

2. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 20-22 minutes, stirring very often until the grits are thick and super creamy.

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3. Turn the heat off and add the Gruyère and cheddar. Stir until all the cheese as melted into the grits. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

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4. Prepare a sheet pan by spraying with a light coating of cooking spray. Pour the grits onto the sheet pan and spread until level.

5. Cover with plastic wrap and leave on the counter for 20 minutes to cool. Transfer the pan to the fridge and allow to set for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

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6. Carefully turn out the grits onto a cutting board. Cut into ¾” x 3” long pieces that look like fries.

7. Combine the cornstarch and paprika in a shallow bowl, and season with a bit of salt and pepper.

8. Heat a large skillet with 1/4” of oil over medium-low heat. Once the oil is rippling, dredge the grit fries in the cornstarch mixture shaking and patting off the excess cornstarch, then place them in the oil.

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9. Fry for 1 ½ – 2 minutes per side and transfer onto a cooling rack or paper towel lined plate.

10. Season with finishing salt when the fries come out of the oil.

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11. Arrange nicely on a serving tray and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with Old Bay Mayo.