Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Grittier than Scarlett...

When I thought of Southern food, my brain immediately went to grits.  I had never tried grits.  In fact, I really had no idea what they were other than some vague idea they had something to do with cornmeal.  But what better reason to make them?  I invited some friends, luring them with promises of fried chicken, while trying to hide the fact that they were about to undergo a four hour movie.  Everyone contributed, bringing corn muffins, fried chicken, creamed spinach and sangria.  And I made the grits from an Alton Brown recipe, which turned out well...like grits...

I'm not sure if this is a good thing.  Perhaps I just neglected to add enough cheese.

It was hard to compare, these being my first grits.  My friends insisted that these were grits, and were in fact, quite good.  And they weren't exactly bad, more like glorified polenta than anything else.  My final verdict?  Not bad, not good, just a kind of starchy side dish.  Next time I add jalapeno.

The Grits
You'll Need:
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
4 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded
  1. Place the milk, water, and salt into a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the milk mixture comes to a boil, slowly add the cornmeal while continuously whisking. 
  3. Once all of the cornmeal has been absorbed, decrease the heat to low and cover. 
  4. Remove lid and whisk frequently, every 3 to 4 minutes, to prevent grits from sticking or forming lumps; make sure to get into corners of pot when whisking. 
  5. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is creamy.  Remove from the heat, add the pepper and butter, and whisk to combine. Once the butter is melted, gradually whisk in the cheese a little at a time.
Remains of the southern fried meal...
Serve immediately and enjoy!   Side note to this recipe: like with most things, you can never have enough cheese or butter with this recipe.  Feel free to experiment!
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