Saturday, November 10, 2007

Kiss My Grits

As fall is clearly upon us, my food preferences have turned from the fresh, crisp flavors of summer to the homey, cozy flavors of fall. Basically—I don’t want a stupid salad. I want stew. Or mashed potatoes. Or best of all, in my humble opinion, grits.

Basic cheese grits provide a basis for coming up with your own innovative grits recipes. I’ll start there, and then give you two other options that step it up a little.

All of these recipes are easy, cheap, and yummy and make a whole mess of grits. The best new is—they are even better on day 2 or day 3.


Basic Cheese Grits
These basic grits are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and pair with anything from a steak to grilled chicken to sausage.

Ingredients
· 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable stock, if you’re not the meat-eatin’ kind—this is true for all three recipes. If you’re a vegan, you’re on your own.)
· 2 cups milk (I use 2%, but skim or whole would probably work okay too)
· 1 tsp. + 1 tsp. salt—(kosher if possible—it’s sooooo much better than Morton’s from the can, but not much more expensive)
· 1 cup quick grits—yellow or white, whatever is your preference.
· 1 and ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
· 1 tsp. black pepper—try to use a grinder, it makes a big difference

Step 1: Combine the chicken broth, milk, and 1 tsp. of the salt in a medium/large sauce pan and bring to a bubble. BE CAREFUL, because the milk can boil over very quickly if you’re not watching it.

Step 2: Add the grits slowly while stirring with a whisk (or just with a fork if you don’t have one), to avoid the dreaded lumps.

Step 3: Turn down the heat to low and cover for five minutes.

Step 4: Add the cheese, pepper and the other tsp. of salt, and stir to combine.

Step 5: Let it sit uncovered on low heat for a few minutes to thicken up a bit.

Step 6: Eat and enjoy!




Baked Chipotle Grits
This is just a ramped-up version of the basic cheese grits. I love to make these spicy grits to go with Mike’s famous brisket, but they go well with a variety of other dishes.

Additional ingredients:
· Four chipotle chilis in adobo, chopped.
· 1 small can of green chilis.
· ½ an onion, chopped and sautéed in olive oil until translucent.
· Extra ½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese

Perform steps 1-4 of the basic cheese grits recipe.

Step 5: Preheat over to 350 degrees

Step 6: Add the “extra ingredients” to the grits

Step 7: Pour the grits into a small, lightly greased baking dish

Step 8: Sprinkle the extra cheddar on top

Step 8: Bake for about 45 minutes, until lightly browned on top and firm.

Step 9: Eat and enjoy!



Robin’s Famous Drunken Grits
Okay, they may not be famous yet with anyone but Mike and I, but they are definitely a favorite in our household. A little fancier, and possibly a bit schmancier than most grits recipes, they are as suitable for a formal dinner party as they are a backyard BBQ. I’m going to give you the entire recipe here, because it’s a smidge different than the other two. It’s totally worth the couple of extra steps, though.

Ingredients:
· 1 tbs. olive oil
· 2 garlic cloves, minced (Or use that pre-minced stuff from the grocery store. I buy the jumbo tub of that stuff a few times a year, because it lasts forever. Sure, maybe it’s not quite as good as the fresh stuff, but it’s a lot easier, and your hands don’t smell like butt when you’re done using it)
· 2 cups chicken broth
· 1 and ½ cups milk
· 1 tsp. salt
· Either one tbs. fresh chopped or ½ a tablespoon dried thyme
· Either ½ tbs. fresh chopped or 1 tsp. dried rosemary
· 1 cup quick grits
· 1 and ½ cups shredded white cheddar cheese
· ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese (Do not use the freaky powdered kind from the can. Get an actual block of fresh parmesan and shred it, please. It’s for your own good.)
· 1 tsp. white pepper (if you don’t want to buy it, black works too)
· ¾ cup of chardonnay


Step 1: Heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

Step 3: Add the garlic and cook for two minutes.

Step 3: Add the milk, chicken broth, salt, thyme and rosemary to the garlic and bring to a bubble. Again, BE CAREFUL, because the milk can boil over very quickly if you’re not watching it.

Step 4: Add the grits slowly while stirring with a whisk (or just with a fork if you don’t have one), to avoid the dreaded lumps.

Step 5: Turn down the heat to low and cover for five minutes.

Step 6: Bring the burner temp back up to medium and stir in the chardonnay until the mixture is smooth.

Step 7: Add the cheese and pepper and stir to combine (depending on how salty the parmesan is, you may or may not need to add a little salt here, too).

Step 8: Turn the heat back down to low, and let the grits sit uncovered for a few minutes to thicken up a bit.

Step 9: Eat and enjoy!

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

Did you ever make me cheese grits when we were roommates?? I think not. I require them on my next visit to your home! You made them sound so yummy.

elizabeth said...

I'm not usually a fan of grits, maybe b/c everything I've tried has been like runny cream-of-wheat. But yours sounds good! And yummmm...Mike's brisket!!

Kristi Cochran said...

Prior to Robin's Cheesy Chipotle receipe, I was not a grits fan in the least. However, I will be the first to jump up and testify that the Cheesy Chipotle Grits rocked my world! They are definately a favorite at our family dinner events.