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Southern-style Arancini

Ingredients:
1 batch Garlic Cheese Breakfast Rice Grits (Cooled)(Click Here for recipe)
¼ cup flour
½ cup water, divided
2 cups well-seasoned panko bread crumbs
Good pimiento cheese (homemade is best) or cubes of your favorite cheese (pepper jack, colby jack, or smoked gouda would work well).
Oil for frying

Instructions:
This recipe works best with leftover garlic cheese breakfast grits. The grits need to be cooled in a refrigerator for at least an hour before beginning. Place well-seasoned panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, whisk ¼ cup flour with ¼ cup water to make a smooth paste. Then whisk in an additional ¼ cup water to form a slurry. Scoop about ¼ cup garlic cheese rice grits into one hand and form it into a flat disk. Place a rounded teaspoon of pimiento cheese (or one cube of cheese) into the center of the disk. Form rice grits into a sphere with the cheese in the center. Roll the sphere in the flour slurry. Then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry rice balls until golden brown and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate, allowing the rice balls to drain. Serve while warm. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat in a 350 degree oven.

photo by Jennifer Johnson | The Coastal Table