In a medium saucepan, mix together the grits, water, 1 teaspoon Cajun spice, and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture should be much thicker than typical grits that you would eat for breakfast, almost like a paste. If adding any add-ins, such as bacon or ham, stir that in now. See notes for more add-in ideas.
Stir in shredded cheese and chives and mix well. Allow to cool for about 1 hour, or until the grits are cool enough to handle with your hands. Colder grits will be easier to form into fritters, warmer grits will stick to your hands.
Using your hands, form the fritters: Take about 3 tablespoons of the grits mixture, roll it into a smooth ball, and flatten it slightly. Tip: you can dip your hands into cool water in between every 2-3 grits balls, to help them not stick to your hands.
Preheat vegetable oil for frying in a small pan or sauce pan - there should be 1-2 inches of oil. Insert a wooden toothpick to test the temperature - if small bubbles form, the oil is hot enough.
Use tongs to carefully place the fritters into the hot oil, do not crowd the pan. Fry the fritters for 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown. Remove from oil when golden brown and drain on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil.
Prepare the Cajun marinara sauce by mixing together the marinara sauce, Cajun spice, lime juice, and chopped chives.
Serve the Cheesy Grits Fritters fresh and warm with Cajun Marinara Sauce.
If the grits mixture is too sticky, you'll need to reheat it and continue to cook it down for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then you'll need to let it cool again.
Optional add-ins: cooked crumbled bacon, diced ham, diced cooked shrimp, diced scallions, pepper Jack cheese.
The nutritional information is estimated, since the amount of oil that gets absorbed is different depending on your frying technique.