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Photo by: Joey DeLeo
In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the water to a boil and slowly stir in the grits, salt, and garlic. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the grits are thick and soft, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the grated cheese and the cream. Keep the grits hot in a water bath, stirring occasionally, for up to 1 hour. More water may be whisked in to thin the consistency of the grits, which will thicken as they sit.
At the restaurant we use stone-ground coarse yellow cornmeal, 1 cup meal to 6 cups water, cooked as in this recipe but for 20 minutes. We add a tablespoon of hot chili pepper sauce, ¼ cup minced red bell pepper, then spread on a tray to cool, then chill. The chilled, now-firm grits are cut into squares and sautéed in vegetable oil until crisp. We do this to cook the grits to order rather than keeping them hot for hours. At home, left-over grits are wonderful chilled and fried for breakfast in the same way.
The Spoon Bread Variation:
4 whole eggs, lightly beaten
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 recipe Soft Cheese Grits
Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter an 8-cup soufflé dish.
Whisk the beaten eggs and the nutmeg into the cooked warm grits. Pour into the soufflé dish, and bake for 30 minutes, until slightly puffed and brown. Serve immediately.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information does not include Spoon Bread Variation.