Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Creamy Grits are a Satisfying Go-With

Creamy Grits by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
 Let's be clear: I was born in the South, I live in the South, and I will love grits 'til my dying day. Growing up, quick white grits with a puddle of butter were a Sunday morning treat alongside scrambled eggs and bacon. My husband introduced me to his ritual of crumbling bacon into the grits for a salty, smoky crunch.

Before the girls came along, I would come home some nights, dead tired from work, put on jammies and fix a bowl of grits, sprinkle them with shredded Cheddar cheese and eat them in front of Thursday night's Must-See-TV. These days, I still turn out grits for breakfast, but I've expanded my options and use grits the way Italian cooks use polenta - as a foil for rich stews such as ratatouille.

Here's my recipe for creamy grits. You can use regular quick grits (never instant!), or the sunny yellow grits made by Dixie Lily.

Creamy grits

2 cups water

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup milk

1 cup grits

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, butter and other goodies, p.r.n.

1. In a medium saucepan, preferably nonstick, combine all liquids and place over medium heat. Slowly whisk in grits. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally, and cook until the grits are smooth and free of lumps.

2. Stir in cheese, if using, and butter and seasonings. Serve with breakfast or as a base for ratatouille.

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