Charleston, South Carolina has long been one of my favorite cites to visit here in the south. It’s an easy 3.5 hour drive from my house, making it the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.
Have you ever visited a place and loved it so much that you feel like you left a little piece of your heart behind? That’s how I feel every time I visit Charleston, South Carolina.
This city of Charleston is well known for it’s historical preservation and is a city that is deeply rooted in it’s southern heritage. I love spending a day just walking around Charleston’s historic district, taking pictures and if I’m lucky, getting to know some of the locals.
Recently, Charleston was hit with serious flooding. The damage from those floods is far reaching, both physically and emotionally. Watching the devastating images on the news, I cried for the beloved city. This recent tragedy is part of the reason I chose to create a recipe inspired by Charleston, but mostly it’s the amazing low-country cuisine that the city is famous for. This Grits Fritters recipe is in honor of the wonderful and welcoming people of Charleston, SC.
Before I divulge my recipe, I want to share a couple of pics from a recent trip to Charleston.
This is a shot I took of The Tower of St. Philip’s Church in Charleston, SC. You can really see in this pic how the church tower leans slightly to one side.
And famous Rainbow Row. It is simply lovely. I actually have a painting of Rainbow Row that has hung in my living room for many years. You can find so much great art work at the Charleston City Market.
One of my favorite restaurants to eat at in Charleston is Poogan’s Porch. They are well known for the restaurant’s welcoming front porch, and classic low-country dishes like Shrimp and Grits, Fried Green Tomatoes, She-Crab Soup, and Cornmeal Fried Catfish. It’s their Pimento Cheese Fritters with Green Tomato Jam that inspired my Grits Fritters recipe. The restaurant got it’s name from a little, down-home Southern dog named Poogan who had become a permanent fixture of the restaurant and the neighborhood, by the time the restaurant was purchased by it’s current owners in 1976. You know how much of a dog lover I am! I’m so drawn to this story.
My most recent trip to Charleston was this past spring. It was an extra-long weekend with my two nieces and their mom. We had the best time. It’s always fun seeing a city through the eyes of the girls and watching them try new things. This might just be my favorite visit to historic Charleston. Here’s a pic of me with my nieces eagerly awaiting our lunch table at Poogan’s Porch.
Grits Fritters Recipe
(yields 8 servings)
Grits Fritters are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Loaded up with creamy grits, bacon, cheese and green onion these fritters are a sure to have you and your guests coming back for more. Y’all are going to love me for this one!
1 cup quick-cooking grits
4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/3 cup minced green onion
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
a dash (or two) of your favorite hot pepper sauce (optional)
2 large eggs
3 cups Panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil (enough to fill a deep skillet or Dutch oven 2-3 inches deep)
1. Using the 4 cups of milk and the salt, prepare the grits according to package directions. Remove the grits from the heat and stir in grated cheese, bacon, green onions, black pepper and chili powder. Pour into a lightly greased 8-inch square pan. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
2. With your hands, roll chilled grits into 1 1/2 inch balls.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs with 1/4 cup water.
4. Dip each ball into egg mixture then roll in Panko bread crumbs to coat.
5. Pour 2-3 inches of oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry fritters in batches for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown on all sides. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and serve warm.
I had initially wanted to serve these Grits Fritters with a tomato jam, but my store didn’t have any in stock. Instead, I served it with some warm pepper jelly which turned out to be just perfect. They are even yummy with some ketchup. (Shhh… don’t tell.)
I hope you’ll try my Charleston inspired recipe and let me know what you think. Do you make a favorite dish that’s inspired by your travels?
Grits Fritters Recipe
- 1 cup quick-cooking grits
- 4 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups 6 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1/3 cup minced green onion
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- a dash or two of your favorite hot pepper sauce (optional)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups Panko bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil enough to fill a deep skillet or Dutch oven 2-3 inches deep
- 1. Using the 4 cups of milk and the salt, prepare the grits according to package directions. Remove the grits from the heat and stir in grated cheese, bacon, green onions, black pepper and chili powder. Pour into a lightly greased 8-inch square pan. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
- 2. With your hands, roll chilled grits into 1 1/2 inch balls.
- 3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs with 1/4 cup water.
- 4. Dip each ball into egg mixture then roll in Panko bread crumbs to coat.
- 5. Pour 2-3 inches of oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry fritters in batches for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown on all sides. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and serve warm.