If there is one thing you should know about me (if you don’t already), it’s that I adore breakfast. I tend to lean savory–eggs, bacon, toast slathered in butter–but I am also a sucker for the sweets; namely blueberry pancakes and sticky buns.
Another thing to note is that I am a born and bred northerner. Which, among other things, means I was introduced far too late in life to the glory of grits. Those buttery, creamy, cornmeal dream clouds that I understand folks in the south eat quite regularly.
Despite my instant love for them, I was intimidated at the concept of making them myself. Admittedly my frame of reference for cooking up grits at home was having minimal. I think I saw Paula Deen make them once on the Food Network with an entire stick of butter and heavy cream. While I do not shy away from indulgence…even I have limits.
So the internet and I debated on how best to go about making grits that wouldn’t immediately stop my heart. I consulted Ina Garten (obviously because her word is gospel to me), and a few others and came up with a perfect bowl of morning joy. And then when I couldn’t finish them (embarrassing though that is for me to admit) I was gifted a second magical meal by baking them off and adding a little spinach.
Conclusion: Grits deserve northern love. They are worth it.
Grits for 2 (+leftovers)
2 cups cold water
1/2 cup quick cooking grits
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
- Bring the water to a boil. Just before it’s rolling, add salt and the grits slowly. Bring heat down to a low simmer and stir consistently with a wooden spoon until grits thicken (about 5 minutes).
- Add the butter and milk and stir to combine. Cover the grits and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes (or until the grits reach your desired thickness…I like mine fairly loose but the longer they cook the more they will firm up).
- Remove from heat and stir in the cheese (this also thickens the consistency). Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper as desired.
FOR BREAKFAST: with poached egg and crumbled bacon highly recommended…but with chives or scallions to garnish or just straight up won’t disappoint.
FOR DINNER: I put the leftovers in a dish and baked them for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, then topped them with sauteed spinach and yet another poached egg. I’m an egg monster.