I kind of can’t believe this is the first time I am posting something about grits, because having been married to a Southern man for 18 years, grits are pretty much business as usual in my kitchen. We like ‘em plain. We like ‘em with cheese. We like ‘em for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Well, some of us do. I do. The Southern husband obviously does. The dog likes the grits, the package the grits come in, the plates the grits have been served on, and anything else faintly edible. The teenager sees the grits package coming out of the freezer and is suddenly, mysteriously no longer hungry. (Yes, my Yankee friends, grits should be stored in the freezer. And please try your best not to use the the Quaker oats version…this is why the Internet exists, for you to order real stone-ground grits from the heart of the Southland).
Anyway, shame on me for holding back on all my grits-wisdom that I have accumulated through the years, which includes the following:
1. As mentioned above, no Quaker Oats grits unless it is an all-out emergency. I love you, Quaker Oats, but there is a reason you have “oats” in your name. You make great oatmeal.
2. Grits come out GREAT cooked in the rice cooker, if you have one.
3. Make sure you salt them up good, and I love a good shake of pepper in mine too. Grits without salt is like a day without sunshine.
4. Store them in the freezer in a ziplock bag.
5. There is no such thing as too much whisking when you are adding the grits to the liquid. Whisk whisk whisk or you will have lumps lumps lumps.
6. All of the following are sheer heaven when added to a pot of hot cooked grits: cream cheese, butter, shredded cheddar, shredded parmesan, a few shakes of Tabasco sauce, any chopped up fresh herbs you have on hand, chopped up bacon,…or all of the above. And if you want to cry with happiness, poach an egg, drop it into the center of your bowl of cheesed up grits, cut into it with your fork so that the egg melts into the grits, and thank your lucky stars to be alive.
Okay, now that I have gotten all that off my chest, let me tell you about this nice little number. I collect shrimp and grits recipes the same way I collect macaroni and cheese recipes. But this particular one is maybe my current favorite. Easy as easy can be, and the perfect combo of grits, cheese and succulent little pieces of shrimp. Unlike many of my grits recipes, this one finishes up in the oven, which gives you a few minutes to make a quick little salad on the side — I chopped up some cherry tomatoes and tossed them with the extra chopped parsley I had from the grits recipe along with some nice olive oil, a little blueberry balsamic vinegar and some coarse salt and pepper. Yum yum yum.
So there you have it…grits, the 1,432,764th reason I am head over heels in love with my Southern husband. Go make some.
- 2 cups milk
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup uncooked grits
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces
- Tabasco sauce
- 1. Preheat oven to 375
- 2. Combine milk and broth in saucepan and heat to boiling. Add grits to saucepan in steady stream, whisking constantly. Add salt. Stir until grits thicken. This can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on your grits.
- 3. Reduce heat and add cheeses and butter, stirring until combined and melted.
- 4. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, eggs and shrimp. Spoon into greased casserole dish.
- 5. Bake until set, about 25 minutes.
- 6. Serve with Tabasco sauce.
Adapted from Cooking Light