Dinner Grits: The OTHER, Other Side Dish
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I love grits. I love grits. On a cold day, I just want to take a swim in a piping hot bowl of grits. Or, as Little Girl calls it, "porridge." Grits is made from hominy -- maize treated with alkali solution (more on that later) -- that are dried and then ground up super finely. The texture is a lot like cornmeal, except white. In terms of taste, the texture and flavor is similar enough to polenta or cornmeal, but in my opinion a little sweeter. You can make them plain with boiled water and some butter, also known as Breakfast Grits or add some more flavorings and cheese for Dinner Grits. This recipe uses chicken broth for the bulk of its flavor and is extremely simple. A combo of sharp cheddar and creamy jack add the perfect finishing touch. It's a great side dish to almost anything from chicken to fish. I've made it with a few different combinations, but the classic sharp cheddar and monteray jack cheese mixture remains my favorite. And I know I'll take flak for using instant grits for this (or quick grits), but I'm a mommy of 2 little ones. If only I had the time to make grits from scratch!
This recipe will serve 4 people, but is easily adjustable to make more or less.
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup 5-minute grits (recommended: Quaker brand)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded monteray jack cheese
Bring the broth and salt in a saucepan up to a boil. Add the grits all at once and using a whisk, stir in and cook 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Be careful because the mixture will start to bubble a bit, so keep stirring it to avoid the big bubble-ups. Cover with lid and reduce heat to low. Cook another 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Again, be careful every time you open that lid because the grits will bubble up on you! Keep stirring with the whisk occasionally to help the grits get creamy and to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. After about 15-20 minutes the grits will be plumped up nicely and the mixture will be thickened considerably. Take off of heat and add the cheese all at once, whisking in to help the cheese melt. You will now have a pot of cheesey golden creamy goodness. Serve piping hot!