Tasso Grits Batons

Sue Freeman posted 02-27-99 5:03 AM

TASSO GRITS BATONS

3 cups water
3/4 cup quick-cook grits
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped tosso (Cajun-cured smoked pork; about 2 ounces)
all-purpose flour for dredging
2 large eggs beaten with 2 tablespoons water
unseasoned fine dry bread crumbs for dredging
oil for frying

In a 2-quart heavy saucepan bring water to a boil. Add grits in a stream,stirring, and cook, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until thickened.

Stir in butter, tasso, and salt to taste and spread grits in baking dish, 13 by 19 by 2 inches.

Cool grits and chill, covered, overnight. Grits may be made 2 days ahead and kept chilled, covered.

Have flour, eggs, and bread crumbs ready in separate shallow dishes

Cut grits into twenty-four 4-by 1/2-inch batons and dredge in flour. Dip batons in eggs and dredge in bread crumbs.

Batons may be prepared up to this point 8 hours ahead and kept chilled, uncovered, on a baking sheet.

In a deep skillet or heavy kettle heat 1 1/2 inches oil to 375F. on a deep-fat thermometer and fry batons in batches, turning, until golden, about 1 minute.

Transfer batons with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Serves 6.

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