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Reheating cheese grits--calling all southern cooks and others

  • c

Planned a whole meal of black-eyed peas, smothered chicken, around using up some leftover cheese grits. Am faced with a solid, rubbery mass. What do I do? Slice and fry? Microwave? Add a lot of milk and try to dissolve grits in a sauce pan on the stove? Help!

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  1. Assuming this is like polenta, heat, additional liquid, and plenty of stirring will get you where you want.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SLRossi

      I'd just make more and save the gelatinous mass for breakfast. No such thing as too much cheese grits.

    2. DO NOT thin down. Slice cold grits into 1/2 inch thick pieces and brown in butter...it will take some time to brown. The best way to eat cheese grits.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Jim H.

        I agree with frying. I have never had much luck trying to reheat grits.

        1. re: Jim H.

          I agree with the frying but disagree with the butter - bacon grease is the way to go.

          There are 2 dishes in the SC lowcountry, one made with cold grits, the other made from hot.

          1) Fry bread - Pour hot grits into a loaf pan. Let it get cold. Slice it 1/3-1/2 inches thick. Fry in bacon grease. Eat it hot plain or with a good syrup, or eat it cold as a snack.

          2) Make a pot of grits. Add 2-5 raw eggs (according to how big your pot is - 1 cup of raw grits = 2 eggs) and stir well. Spoon out onto a hot skillet or griddle, with a small amount of bacon grease. Cook and treat as pancakes.

          These will beat your cheese grits all holler. They seem to be related to the Johnny Cakes, which are made with corn meal.

          1. re: Sandy

            I admit that bacon grease is mighty tasty...I grew up on it. I enjoyed so much of it that I had a quadruple bypass at age 52. I only use it with relatives that I want to get rid of.

            1. re: Jim H.

              It must have something to do with genetics. I remember my great aunts (most of whom lived into their nineties) getting a pound or two lump of what we referred to as "butt's meat," that is, salt pork with not a speck of lean and in one large chunk, parboiling it in a number of changes of water to get the salt out (remember, salt can cause hypertension), and finally boiling it until done. It was then put in the refrigerator to chill. They would cut off a slab of this (it had to be almost 100% pure fat) and eat it with a plate of hot grits. I tried it once and almost gagged - I prefer my salt pork fried.

        2. I agree,pan frying is ideal. But if you don't want to fry, microwaving, covered, on very low power will work, too. Just keep checking and stir from time to time. It's possible you might need to add a bit of liquid, but wait until it heats some first and just add a little.

          1. I have had pretty good success reheating grits in water, or better yet stock. Use a whisk & go for it. They will reconstitute pretty well but you have to beat the hell out of them to get the lumps out.
            I also like the slice & fry idea. As long as they are not too thick they should fry, or actually saute`, pretty well.
            Good luck & let us know

            1. If you like the fried grits, next time you make grits make extra...before you serve the soft grits, pour some in a soup can and refrigerate. Later, cut bottom from soup can or just slide out block of grits. Slice and brown crispy.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jim H.

                great idea! I usually pour them into a sheet pan & then slice but your idea sounds even easier. You could even throw some scrambled egg & sausage/bacon in there for a full breakfast.

              2. BIG thanks for the suggestions! I dissolved the mass in milk in a sauce pan on the stove and stirred like crazy and they did come out creamy and soft and pretty much lump free. Will save any extra I ever have again in a form to allow slicing/cutting for frying. Never again will I fear cold grits!

                1. Southern cooks won't do you much good if they are strictly Southern, since cheese grits appears to have originated with the influx of Northern students into Southern colleges during the late '60's-70's as a way of making grits palatable to the Northern taste. I've also seen Northern folk put milk and sugar on grits, thus leading to what is now called "Creamy Grits," without the sugar, of course.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Sandy


                    I don't understand why you would keep leftover grits.

                    How much can it cost/How long can it take to make more?

                    1. re: danna

                      Well, if you wanted to make fry bread (see my posting below), although in that case you would probably cook a little extra and put it in the loaf pan right away.

                      I agree with your proposition, however. And besides, ordinary cold leftover grits is a disgusting gelatinous mess.

                    2. re: Sandy

                      Well, I spent the first 23 years of my life in Ga. and we frequently had cheese grits. It wasn't baked, though. My mother would just stir some good sharp cheddar into cooked grits and let it melt. Then it was served as usual, with butter.
                      And I never remember leftover grits. If there was any, I think it was put in the garbage.
                      I've heard of people using milk and sugar on grits. Sounds disgusting to me. But we had oatmeal with butter and salt, too.