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Grits -- Savory Recipes

I'm sad to say that I have just discoverd grits -- how good they CAN be. Now, I'm desperate to explore different ways to make them. Please share recipes and complimentary dish ideas! It might be too much to ask, but healthy preparations are more than welcome, too!

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  1. I'll try to get my mother-in-law's recipe for cheese grits. One suggestion I have is to try the coarser stoneground grits (someitmes called "popcorn" grits) They are exponentially more delicious than garden-variety grits. Here is a link to Weisenberger Mills in Kentucky. There are other sources of stoneground grits, but these are the ones available locally.


    1. I like these corn and grit timbales. They make a great side for pork chops or pork tenderloin.

      Corn and Grit Timbales
      3 cups water or chicken stock
      3/4 cup stone ground grits
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
      1/2 cup whipping cream
      1/2 cup chives or green onions, minced
      4 large eggs, lightly beaten
      2 cups corn
      salt and pepper, to taste

      1. Bring the water or stock to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the grits and salt. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat. (cooking time varies, so keep an eye on them.)

      2. Add the cheese, cream, chives, eggs, corn, salt and pepper; mix well. Spoon into 12 muffin cups sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place in larger pan with 1 1/2 inches warm water.

      3. Bake at 350 for 20 - 30 minutes or until set. Cool slightly before unmolding.

      1. Grits with crumbled up bacon.
        There may be no better combination on earth.

        2 Replies
        1. re: QueenB

          Mmmmm. Try some parmesan and scallion in there too. It's like the anti-carbonara. I've also made a soft boiled egg and smooshed it in there at the last second. Oh... My ... God.

          1. re: bryan

            Also yummy with 2 over easy eggs on top of grits that have a pat of buter on top. Heaven!

        2. My favorite is a bowl of grits with cheddar cheese and an over easy egg on top.

          1. Oh, grits! Growing up in NC, they were a major childhood comfort food for me. My favorite recipe comes from Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill. If you are ever in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, check them out on Franklin Street. The shrimp and grits are to die for. I have their recipe, acquired in the late 80s/early 90s, but I can't find it at the moment. If I can find it, I will post it later.

            Here is a vegetarian adaptation of their recipe:

            4 c. water
            1 c. grits
            ½ t. salt
            4 T. butter
            1 c. grated cheddar cheese
            ½ c. grated parmesan cheese
            pinch nutmeg
            pinch cayenne pepper
            pinch white pepper
            dash of hot sauce (like Tabasco or Texas Pete)

            Bring water to a boil. Slowly stir in grits, reduce heat. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes. At the end, stir in salt and butter.

            Add cheeses and nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and white pepper. Adjust to taste.

            Never, never, never use instant grits. You deserve better! Definitely look for stoneground. I prefer Bob's Red Mill brand, which is available in some grocery stores and many specialty markets on the west coast. I also like to use different cheeses and seasonings, depending on my mood. Italian cheeses tend to be good choices, as grits is very similar to the peasant staple polenta. Fontina works great instead of cheddar and grana and asiago are good instead of parmesan.

            A healthier idea for grits is to prepare them without butter or cheese (okay, maybe a bit), but including salt, pepper, and garlic for flavor. Then, use the grits as a base for sauteed garlic shrimp with hot sauce. Or form refrigerated plain grits into patties and saute them in olive oil. Serve with the tomato-based sauce of your choice and some fresh basil.

            I think I have to make grits for dinner tonight, now.

            1 Reply
            1. re: coreyander

              Looooove shrimp and grits. If you find the rec, please post.

            2. This is from Herbsaint in New Orleans. A great resturant and a great recipe. I have eaten it there and made an adapted version at my house. Cant say enough good things:

              Shrimp with Green Chile Grits and Tasso Cream Sauce
              Serves 4 – 6

              Shrimp with Green Chile Grits and Tasso Cream Sauce
              Serves 4-6


              2T+2T Whole Butter
              1/2C Diced Onion
              1/2C Diced Celery
              1/2C Diced Tasso
              1T Fresh Chopped Thyme
              1 ½ t Salt and Black Pepper each
              ¾ t Cayenne
              ¾ t Paprika
              1t Chopped Garlic
              4T AP Flour
              1 C Shrimp Stock
              1C Heavy Cream
              Dash of Lemon Juice and Hot Sauce to finish
              2# of Large Shrimp( more or less depending whether this is an appetizer or entrée)

              Melt 2T of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat, add onion, celery, Tasso, chopped Thyme, cayenne, paprika and garlic and cook until vegetables are soft.

              Add other 2T of butter and melt into pan, then add your flour to blend in with vegetables in the pan. Then add shrimp stock and reduce by half, add cream and reduce again until a nice thick cream sauce has formed. Finish with the lemon juice and hot sauce.

              When sauce is done set aside and cook you shrimp in whatever oil or fat you desire of a couple minutes on each side until they are almost all the way cooked and ladle sauce over shrimp and simmer for 5 minutes.

              To serve spoon over warm grits with roasted peppers and cheese mixed in.

              Tip: Whenever making sauce that have some sort of roux in the base always add your liquids in stages so that you don’t make you sauce too thin, the sauce is always easier to thin out than thicken.

              2 Replies
              1. re: frankiii

                This is damn delicious...I find it hard to pick other apps when dining at H because this one is so good.

                1. re: Hungry Celeste

                  My favorite too . . . Didn't get there this trip, but I'll try the recipe. Now, if I can only find some tasty shrimp in the desert . . .

                  Sarah C

              2. Frank Brigtsen in New Orleans makes a wondrous grit cake with rabbit tenderloin and sauce. Here's an approximation of his recipe. I've made it several times finely dicing the tasso - spouse chopped it in the processor and made it better, that lazy woman. She also brushed a bit of olive oil onto the cake and fried it in a dry skillet - much better than the way I did it, grumble, grumble.

                No rabbit delivered from the organic free range farmer this week? A chicken breast tenderloin is almost as good atop the fried grit cake. The fried grits alone is pretty darn good.


                2 Replies
                1. re: AreBe

                  I have never made it Brigsten but always have heard good things. Sounds like I need to pay them a visit.

                  1. re: frankiii

                    Haven't made it down to NO in quite some time as I regrettably no longer have business events down there however, when I did, we'd hit Brigtsen's - some of the most memorable meals ever. If you're anywhere near, please do go and have something - anything on the menu is fine - for me.

                2. Girts with Sage.

                  Small diced onions, sauted in the grits pot. Diced Bacon optional in the saute. If you have leaf sage (the bush is really easy to grow), dice them and add when onions are almost sweated. Rubbed sage (ala spice jar) will also do.

                  Add grits, then water. Butter, cheese, bacon are optional; Sage and onions are imperative, as are some salt and white pepper. For a hint of cheese at best calorie ratio, use parmesan or romano

                  Eat as is, or for richer, stir in a raw egg, tempered.

                  For best presentation, spoon egged grits into buttered 4" individual souffle cups or the like, make a well in the center and break in a whole raw egg, then bake in oven until egg sets to your heart's desire. Garnish with fried whole sage leaves for presentation.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FoodFuser

                    Fascinating. How long does it take to set the egg? How hot?

                    I'm currently putting morels on grits. Why? We got a Whole Foods last year, first time I've ever been able to buy Morels. Casting about for a bland medium to serve the Morels with, I came upon the idea of sauteeing them in a bit more butter than I normally allow, and spooning over grits. UMmmmm.

                  2. Grits with Shrimp and Roasted Red Pepper (and Feta cheese)


                    These are from Bon Appetit 2002, and I made them at that time for some visiting relatives. I just saw those relatives last month and they remarked on remembering how good this dish was! Guess I'll have to make it again--

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DGresh

                      I saw this recipe posted last month and made it this weekend as an appetizer to go with normal shrimp cocktail: even the person who asked what grits were (yeah we laughed at her and did a Cousin Vinny) loved it! I will definitely be making it again! I used Quaker Old Fashioned Grits since that's what I had around, but have to initially cook about twice as long as the recipe says.

                    2. Grits & grillades just might be the perfect savory combo (please, shrimp-n-grits partisans, don't flame me). Regular ol' grits topped with slow-cooked beef or veal....recipes abound for grillades. Post if you want mine.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                        I would love your recipe Celeste. TIA.

                        1. re: bryan

                          It's not all mine, it's cribbed mostly from Leon Soniat's Creole Cookbook. Chop a couple onions, four or five cloves of garlic, one bell pepper, and two fresh tomatoes. Cut up a pound or so of beef top round into 1 1/2 inch cubes, season w/salt, red pepper, ground thyme and brown beef cubes in hot bacon grease in a heavy dutch oven. Remove meat, toss in onions, garlic, brown until fragrant. Return meat to pot, along with green pepper, bay leaf, 1 1/2 cups beef stock, 1 T balsamic vinegar, and some fresh-ground black pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes with a lid, then add chopped tomato and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes longer until beef is fork-tender. Serve over hot cream grits or baked cheese grits.

                          1. re: Hungry Celeste


                            It is a very old low country recipe, dating back to the early 1800's and named forr Awnedaw county in SC. It is a "spoonbread" made with grits.

                            Preheat oven to 375 F

                            Combine in a bowl 2 Tbs. room. temp. unslated butter, and 4 beaten eggs. Add 2 C. hot cooked grits. 2 C. milk and 1 C. stoneground white cornmeal, 1/2 tsp. salt Mix it all up well and pour into a buttered 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish with enough room for the Awenda rise. Bake about 45 minutes until puffed and browned.

                            It is perfect with roasts, especailly beef, slatereed with butter and drizzled with gravy. Heavenly stuff. This will serve 8 but the recipe is easily halved.

                            1. re: Candy

                              Candy, this sounds wonderful. Is it temp.sensitive--I mean does it have to be served hot before it collapses, or will it hold its puffup as it cools?

                              1. re: PhoebeB

                                It doess tend to deflate, better hot but chilled and sliced and fried in butter with bacon or sausage and eggs makes for wonderful leftovers.

                      2. All time favorites:

                        1. Shrimp in a Cream and Tasso sauce served over Creamy Charleston style Stone Ground Grits,


                        1. Grit and Grillades.

                        1. Anybody have the recipe for Nassau Grits that they serve at the Coffee Cup Restaurant in Pensacola?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: MakingSense

                            The Coffee Cup rules! The recipe for those grits is in the Jan 2007 Saveur as part of the Saveur 100. If you can't find it, I can post it for you.

                            1. re: jdm

                              The best thing is to get an order of plain grits AND an order of Nassau grits and eat them both! And pie for dessert after breakfast. I love the Coffee Cup!
                              I knew I had seen the recipe but could not remember where. Got the magazine! Thanks!

                          2. Just plain grits with butter and some maple syrup poured in there. Next best is very soft fried egg on top and beat the liquid egg yoke all thru that sucka. Man thats good eatting.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: ffcburgerboi

                              My first recollection of grits was that they saved me from my mother's calves liver and green peas (from a can!). It also taught me the concept of one pot cooking which I still use today. During that time my mother also introduced me to fried grits - cold grits deep fried to a golden brown smothered in catsup. Though now, I add different ingrediants to spice them up and haven't used catsup on anything for 15 years. I've also had grits at The Market Place in Asheville, NC that were as smooth and creamy as mashed potatoes. And of course, who doesn't love "grits" (girls raised in the south)?

                              1. re: jberryl

                                It's the drawl man! Makes me go weak at the knees every time.

                                1. re: jberryl

                                  I know this is years out of date, but I am trying to duplicate a recipe I had at the Gulfstream restaurant in Surfside Beach near Myrtle Beach. It was a fried grits cake with a cajun cream sauce studded with shrimp. I cannot find a way to make a grits cake that will stay together, either pan-fried or deep fried. Any help you give would be greatly appreciated

                                  1. re: TBoneTom

                                    Same way you do a polenta cake: spread the cooked grits out in a greased pan, as thick as you want your cake to be. Cover and refrigerate, preferably overnight. You can then cut this into cakes, either squares or diamonds with a table knife or stamp out circles with a biscuit cutter. Pat dry and then fry. The grits need to be very thoroughly cooked and quite thick to begin with.

                                    When I'm saving leftover grits for one or two servings, I just pour them into greased ramekins, one per serving, and cover and refrigerate until I want them. A little encouragement with a knife and they pop right out, ready to fry.

                                    1. re: TBoneTom

                                      try adding an egg as binder to make your grits cake stay together.

                                2. I loves me some grits!

                                  Since everyone seems to have covered most of the ways I eat it, I'll give you this tip - When I began trying to lower my carb intake and increase my protein intake (not a no carb diet but just scaling back, I LOVE all those bread, pasta and such carbs a little too much), I began making smaller amounts of grits and at the last minute adding creamed silken tofu. I started by adding in about 10% tofu. Now, if I've got a plentiful, flavorful topping, I make the mixture up to 40% tofu & 60% grits.

                                  3 Replies
                                    1. re: jberryl

                                      I know! I'm from the Texas, grew up on grits. Now, I live in California. And there's one tiny bit of me that screams whenever I add TOFU (you crazy hippie!) to grits. And I would never let my family see me doing such a thing!

                                      But my mom is a dress size 24, can't walk a block without stopping to rest and takes fistfulls of pills every day so if part of avoiding that fate is by making my food slightly more healthy, then I will.

                                      The key is to stop before you can taste the difference. When I do relatively plain grits, I only add about 10% tofu.

                                      1. re: larochelle

                                        You crazy hippy girl... ha ha ... two thoughts - You mom's size 24 did not come from grits but I appreciate the cutting of carbs (I seldom eat starch now) ... but there are many other savory things to add to grits ... try leafed & sauteed till brown on the edges brussel sprouts, or maybe roasted with olive oil okra. Both methods really change the flavor and texture of these traditional veggies and would also help expand the grit experience.

                                        Weight control... portion size and exer size control your size... it's the only conclusion one can reach after many years of watching diet fads come and go. And now I've heard that cardio isn't as good as weight training (3 times a week) when it come to weight control and health.

                                        Jeez.... it's a new millennium ... can't we just do some DNA changes to fix it?

                                  1. My father, raised in Alabama, used to refer to Hog Jowl and Hominy Grits but I never got a recipe or even a more detailed description from him. I can only imagine that he was not thinking of guanciale e polenta, and I wonder if anyone on board here knows of a Southern standard recipe for this preparation.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: antepiedmont

                                      I think with grits, if you are adding something like bacon, or some other prepared item, you just do them in the style that you like ... then add them... You might add some of the residue when cooking the grits (i.e., a little bacon greese to enhance the flavor). I don't know squat about jowls (except my own of course), but I don't think it would be too hard to come up with a recipe that you like. Experiment.

                                      I say that because the way southern people cooked in the past relied too much on over cooking, over salting, or over greasing the items. My mother was a good cook but she learned the aforementioned way to cook. You can still have southern cooking but a lot healthier and flavorful than necessarily following an old recipe. Now look .. before I bring down the wrath of the Dixie gods upon me, you can't accept that statement carte blanch - you DO have to follow some to make them right, but we're talking grits and additions here ya know?

                                      As far as your dad's recipe goes I'll bet it was a lot like guanciale e polenta, just using different spices and items. I read somewhere that there is no American cooking - it was all brought from some where else and adapted to the ingredients at hand.

                                      1. re: antepiedmont

                                        On one of the Asphalt episodes, Alton Brown put slices of head cheese on the grits. The gelatin melts into the grits, leaving bits of pork on top. That might approximate that jowl and grits dish.

                                        From a southern food dictionary:
                                        "Hog Jowl - The cheek of a hog. Hog jowl is usually cut into squares before being cured and smoked. It may be refrigerated for up to one week if tightly wrapped. It may be cut into strips and fried like bacon or used to flavor stews, beans, and greens."

                                        Sounds like bacon or smoked ham hock would substitute.


                                        1. re: paulj

                                          It also sounds like a sort of Southern-accented quick scrapple!

                                          All good...

                                      2. Yay! Finally a thread on grits! I'm so sick of years of having people make gagging sounds when I mention them--the same people who think polenta is so chic. Stone ground speckled-heart grits put polento to shame, IMO.

                                        First a little grits history. "Hominy" grits are the garden-variety "Aunt Jemima" kind, the only kind most people have ever eaten. Hominy is corn that's been treated with lye water to kill the germ--the nutritious part. It was the old way of preserving the corn through the winter.

                                        Stone ground speckled-heart grits are untreated whole-grain corn; the darker heart/germ is what makes them look speckled. They are slightly coarser-ground, don't lump in cooking as easily, and are far tastier and more nutritious.

                                        I ordered them for years from Calloway Gardens in Georgia--three 2 lb. bags for ~$12 plus shipping. http://www.callawaygardens.com/info/a...

                                        Excellent grits and good service. I've since found Nora Mills: same good grits at a better price, esp. the 10 lb. bag for $13 plus ~$10 shipping. They come in 1,2,3,5,10 lb. sizes.

                                        The secret to delicious grits is butter. I put 1/2 stick (1/4 C.) in the water with the grits and salt right at the start, and generally add another lump when they're done. They say the longer you cook grits the creamier & better they are (a great crockpot dish), but I never cook them more than 20-30 minutes and they couldn't be better.

                                        For cheese/garlic/spinach/bacon grits (any or all of those), just simmer the grits--stirring almost constantly at the start, frequently thereafter-- til thick (a spoonful will hold its shape like soft mashed potatoes), 20-30 min.

                                        Then add several big handfuls of baby spinach leaves or drained chopped frozen spinach, squeeze in a fat garlic clove, simmer for another minute; add grated sharp cheddar to taste, maybe crumbled bacon.

                                        You can substitute chopped green chile for the spinach, the 4-cheese Mex. blend grated cheese for the sharp cheddar, and have another sensational dish.

                                        You'll see recipes for cheese grits that make you cook them and then bake them--adding eggs, etc. Total waste of time and not as good and creamy as my way.

                                        The classic Southwestern (originated in chuckwagons on cattle drives) breakfast is grits with ham and redeye gravy. Fry a thick ham slice, remove & keep warm, add a big splash of strong coffee to the drippings with a goodly pinch of sugar if your ham is not sweet, simmer ~3 minutes, pour over hot grits.

                                        They are as versatile as rice or mashed potatoes; a wonderful, sadly neglected starchy side dish for almost any entree at any meal.

                                        P.S. As with any whole-grain product--wheat germ, WW flour--you must store your speckled-heart grits in a very cool place--freezer or fridg for any kind of long-term storage.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: PhoebeB

                                          Thanks for an excellent post, Phoebe. I just wish that stone ground grits were more readily available. Once you've tasted the real, stone-ground deal, there's just no going back.

                                        2. When I first moved to NYC in the early 80s, I could not find grits. I brought some back from Georgia when I visited. Then, while in a health food store on First Avenue in Manhattan, I spotted them--white polenta!

                                          In gratitude, I offer a recipe for cheese grits souffle:

                                          1/3 cup grits
                                          1/2 cup shredded cheese
                                          1 1/4 cups water
                                          1/2 teaspoon salt
                                          1 large egg
                                          1/2 cup milk

                                          Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 1-quart casserole. Cook grits with water and salt according to package directions. Stir in cheese.

                                          In a bowl, beat egg and add milk. Stir the egg mixture into the cheese grits. Bake until puffed and browned, about 30 minutes.

                                          This works well with Kraft 2% cheddar and 1% milk, making a nice healthy dish for 2 or 3. I use Arrowhead Mills grits, both white and yellow.

                                          1. We had Shad Roe with creamy/cheesy grits last night topped with bacon and brown butter sauce. What a treat!

                                            1. North Florida Cheese Grits...More than 20 years ago, I worked for a Congressman from North Florida. His speciality was cheese grits. All the receptions one went to in those days were the same...boiled shrimp, steamship round, etc. When we had a reception in the House Dining Room, we converted it, literally, into a North Florida fish fry. Friends brought up a semi truck with moss, palmetto, etc and transformed the room. We served fish caught fresh in the Gulf and trucked up overnight. Other dishes included swamp cabbage and sawmill chicken (fried, heavily peppered bacon) I remember Tip O'Neill could not get enough of it. Anyway, the Congressman personally cooked the grits for the outing, and herewith his recipe: Don's Cheese Grits: 4 1/2 cups of wat
                                              1/2 cup soy sauce
                                              2 cloves garlic, crushed
                                              1 tsp. Tabasco
                                              1 tsp. coarsely crushed black pepper
                                              1 cup coarse grits
                                              1/2 stick of butter
                                              2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar

                                              Bring water, soy sauce, garlic, Tabasco, and pepper to boil Add grits. simmer 30 -45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken. Just before ready to serve, add butter and cheese. Allow to melt and blend well. Makes 6 servings.

                                              Only thing I would add is that worcestershire sauce is also good and can be substituted for the soy, and you can always add more cheese. Great dish, great memories.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: steakman55

                                                Excellent recipe. Almost exactly the way I make mine except that I've never added either soy sauce or Worcerstershire. I'll have to try both.

                                                It calls for an extra 1/2 C. of water, I see. I do a straight 4 cups to a cup of grits, and it seems to me the added water would just increase the cooking time. Maybe the difference is that I put the butter in right at the start.

                                                Cheese grits made this way, as I said in my earlier post, are IMO not only easier & faster but better than the cooked-and-then-baked kind, which are often either too dry or too runny. This way you can control the finished consistency.

                                                Sorry I didn't live in FL so I could vote for this guy. He sounds like a Renaissance man.

                                                1. re: steakman55

                                                  Would that dish travel? could you cook it 'til thick, carry to a party, put it on the stove and add the butter and cheese at the last minute? I was always taught that grits that had grown cold must be thrown away and never reheated, but I sure would like to take that to a "southern" themed party tomorrow night.

                                                  1. re: danna

                                                    O my stars, Danna, I never heard such heresy! Grits reheat at least as well as any food I can think of. They're my favorite "Take To..." dish. This recipe made ahead and reheated is probably tastier than freshly-made.

                                                    I'd make the whole thing up, put it in a fairly shallow (like 2" deep) serving dish (find out, if you can, what's available at the party site for reheating--microwave or conventional oven--and use the right kind of dish), and reheat it gently at ~300 so as not to separate the cheese.

                                                    If a microwave is all you have, put it on a mid-range power level and stir every couple of minutes to be sure it's heating evenly. When it's hot enough, you might want to smooth the surface nicely and sprinkle a little fresh grated cheese & pepper on top and leave it in for another minute or so til that cheese melts.

                                                    (If you have to make it a day ahead and refrigerate it, try to let it to come to room temp by the time you reheat it. Nothing in it to spoil in that length of time and it reheats much faster.)

                                                    It doesn't have to be steaming hot, just good and warm. And it's no less delicious as it cools to room temp.

                                                2. One of my favorite ways to eat grits is to cook them the day before and pour them into a casserole dish and place in the fridge over night. the next day they will have firmed up quite a bit. Cut them into squares about the size of a brownie (2'x2') and deep fry them. They are great as an appetizer or as a subsititute for hush puppies when you make any seafood.
                                                  Another great use for them is as a replacement for the english muffin when you make fried green tomatoe or a crab cake benedict.

                                                  32 Replies
                                                  1. re: GrillMaster

                                                    I've never deep-fried them, but I always make a little extra to pour into a can and chill to slice it off like corn meal mush and fry in a little butter.

                                                    If you put about 3/4" in the bottom of a baking dish, they make the foundation for a wicked chili pie.

                                                    (Isn't it strange that we use the plural verb/pronoun for grits and the singular for polenta/corn meal/hominy? "Polenta is delicious". Who'd ever say "Grits is delicious"?

                                                    Just killing time to put off ironing curtains.)

                                                    1. re: PhoebeB

                                                      Phoebe - You are a wealth of grits information, one more question (we need you more than your curtains do...iron out our gritty wrinkles first, 'kay?) What's the call on yellow grits vs white grits? I usually buy yellow grits, but I have never had a side by side taste test...anyone else?

                                                      1. re: Olympia Jane

                                                        No difference at all in taste or nutrition, far as I know. Just cosmetic. I always get the white ones, probably because the first source I found for speckled-heart grits was Callaway Gardens that sells only white, and I got used to them.

                                                        (Come to think of it, I'm a native Dallasite & lived most of my life there, and I can't recall seeing anything but white grits in the South.)

                                                        Nora Mill sells both. Might be fun to get a 2 lb. bag of each and then you can use whichever compliments the color scheme of your meals.

                                                        1. re: Olympia Jane

                                                          taste is the same imo, but some real deep southern cooks much prefer white grits and claim that yellow cornmeal is for feeding animals.

                                                          of course, i like other things "only fit for the livestock": potatoes, turnips, barley. . .

                                                          1. re: soupkitten

                                                            Just as I don't remember ever seeing yelow grits growing up, I almost never saw white cornmeal. I used to think that the soaking in lye to make hominy (which I never saw except white) bleached the color out of the corn. But I've learned that's not true. There is yellow hominy and it's said to be sweeter and better than the white.

                                                          2. re: Olympia Jane

                                                            Am I right in thinking you're in olympia? If so, where do you find white grits? I have been looking for quite some time!

                                                          3. re: PhoebeB

                                                            They are awsome deep fried. You get a good browned crust on the outside that tastes great and has an incredible texture and then you get the creamy grits on the inside. The contrasts are what make it.
                                                            They are best, IMOP, with fried catfish. Now that I think of it, that might be the most southern meal ever.

                                                              1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                Usually just veg. oil. Maybe canola. Whatever I've got in the cabinet.

                                                                1. re: GrillMaster

                                                                  Do you use any breading on the outside like cornmeal before you fry them?

                                                                  1. re: jberryl

                                                                    I too wondered if you maybe dredge the squares for a light flour coating to get that crispy crust.

                                                                    1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                      I never have but that might not be half-bad. The grits themselves do a pretty good job of making a crust though.

                                                                      1. re: GrillMaster

                                                                        I agree with you, I just let my grits set up and get cold and then slice and pan fry until crusty in butter or bacon fat. Great thing to do with leftover spoon bread too.

                                                                2. re: PhoebeB

                                                                  Drop around Nashville one of these days and you'll find lots of people saying "Grits is delicious." And I guess some of Georgia as well: I illustrated a bunch of books by a Georgia guy named Bo Whaley (widely available in remainders!), theoretically at least Humorous works on the well-worn theme of Southern Culture, and at least one of them had a chapter on Grits in which it was stated that "grits IS" is the proper form. Mr. Whaley contended that "grits" is a single substance, and only some damn fool Yankee is gonna be ignorant enough to let that "s" on the end fool him into thinking it's plural.

                                                                  Being my own self a damn fool Yankee, I generally use the word as a plural, but then I'm mostly talking to Californians these days...but eating grits almost as often as in Nashville. I un-fancied my Cheese Grits recipe years ago, getting rid of the whole soufflé thing and sticking with butter, garlic, lots of sharp cheddar and a big dollop of Tabasco. I got some Anson Mills whole-grain grits from Surfas in Culver City, but for most uses I actually prefer the cheap commercial ones. Alber's is what you mostly find here.

                                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                                    I agree with Mr. Whaley grammatically, but I cannot bring myself to say "Grits is.." I'm trying to think of a noun ending in "s" (an English noun, not a French one") that is commonly used with a singular verb/pronoun. Can you think of any?

                                                                    I marvel at your saying you prefer the fine-ground hominy grits. I ate them for years and always liked them, but when I tasted my first pot of Callaway Garden's speckled heart grits it was like I'd never had grits before.

                                                                    We had a mostly-family brunch after church on Easter Sunday, and a guest--a really outstanding cook-- brought a cheese grits casserole. It was so tasteless I was almost shocked. It was full of lumps (which is almost impossible with the coarser grind), dry, lacked texture and body.

                                                                    I don't know if the problem was the grocery-store grits or that it was the baked-with-egg "souffle' kind. Anyway, it went almost uneaten whereas my non-baked speckled heart cheese grits are always the first thing on the buffet to disappear.

                                                                    Well, one thing's for sure: any grits are better than no grits

                                                                    1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                      Phoebe, I think the heart of the matter is that I really love that lye-drenched hominy flavor. I grew up eating and loving hominy, just heated up out of the can with a little butter, and I also have a strong visceral response to the Mexican way with their nixtamal and all its variations. When I cook the quick stuff I always whisk the dry grits into a seething pot of water, butter, salt and pepper and Tabasco, and there's no way in hell it's ever gonna be lumpy, dry or tasteless!

                                                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                                                        That explains it. I've never liked hominy. My parents loved it, served it at home far more often than grits.

                                                                        I love the flavor of corn, and I guess it was that unadulterated corn flavor of the speckled-heart grits that made me fall in love with them.

                                                                        I also like the mouth-feel of the stoneground grits. Are hominy grits available in the coarser grind? (I've never seen the Albers grits up here in Maine; just Aunt Jemima.)

                                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                                          I love hominy and grits. I am especially enamored with the Mexican brand of hominy, Juanitas. It is chewier, and denser, has a bit more fiber and is lower carb than the American brands.

                                                                          Bill Neal and David Perry wrote a little book on grits that was published in 1991, It may still be in print. It is chock full of grits recipes and lore. I treasure my copy. It also addresses the grits is/are issue.

                                                                          Did you know Georgia Ice Cream is another names for grits?

                                                                          1. re: Candy

                                                                            That's what Callaway Gardens calls their grits: Georgia Ice Cream.

                                                                            It was never the flavor of hominy I didn't care for; it was the texture. I've had a can sitting on my pantry shelf for months now, thinking I should give it another chance.

                                                                            What's your favorite simple way to eat it? Just hot with butter/S&P?

                                                                            1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                              Try it in posole first. Epicurious and most Mexican cooks books will have recipes. It is a party in a bowl. Pork shoulder cooked with chilis into a stew with hominy and lots of side toppings.

                                                                              I just love it sauteed in butter with lots of pepper but I'll sneak nuggets from the can while i am rinsing it.

                                                                              I am a little ticked off at Callaway Gardens. I ordered 12 lbs of grits in March through a vendor who acts as a middle man for Callaway Gardens. I got charged and never received my grits. I am protesting it with Master Card and I guess I will have to defect to Anson Mills.

                                                                              1. re: Candy

                                                                                Mercy, Candy. I just looked at Anson Mills--what a gorgeous site--and I think I'm in shock. Is there really a 4 bag minimum retail order? 4 ten lb. bags @ $40 (each!) plus shipping?

                                                                                I get 10 lbs. from Nora Mill for $12.95 plus about $10 shipping, depending on zip code. And they're as good as Callaway Gardens.

                                                                                1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                                  PhoebeB, I went crazy and ordered 50 lbs of grits, polenta and oatmeal from Anson Mills. So far I've made the grits, both the old-fashioned coarse and their version of instant (overnight soak plus 15 minutes of cooking). The grits are simply amazing. DH who was totally opposed to my insane purchase, is now addicted. I've never tasted anything more intensely corny. The kitchen smelled like fresh corn on the cob. And the oatmeal has a wonderful flavor, nutty and oaty and just moreish.

                                                                                  Yes it is expensive. But it's worth it. I'm a very frugal shopper so that's very high praise.

                                                                                  1. re: cheryl_h

                                                                                    Cheryl, I can't BEGIN to store that much stuff. And shouldn't some of it--the whole kernel at least--be refrigerated or frozen?

                                                                                    Don't even tell me how good it is. I don't want to acquire another taste I can't afford. You know how it goes:

                                                                                    "There, little luxury, don't you cry;
                                                                                    You'll be a necessity by & by".

                                                                                    1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                                      Yes it should be refrigerated. It came in big 10 lb bags. We have it all in the freezer, except for about a pound of each which is in containers in the fridge. I can't defend this, I just plead temporary insanity.

                                                                                      1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                                        You can order a sampler of the small bags. No need to buy 10 pounds of any one thing at a time. Yes, the stuff is expensive but worth it. Less than steak. Such a treat you won't mind the cost. Enjoy as plain as possible and don't pass on the Carolina Gold Rice or the most incredible polenta ever.
                                                                                        I visited the mill behind the old car wash in Columbia, SC and met Glenn Roberts several years ago. He is devoted to the production of the absolute finest grits, rice and other products from heirloom seed dating to colonial times in the region. Working with Clemson University, he's brought back varieties that had been unavailable for generations. Totally organic. The corn is stored frozen, milled to order, shipped frozen and should be stored frozen at your house. Anson Mills supplies some of the best restaurants in America and abroad.

                                                                                        1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                          And then what do I do if the samples make it impossible for me to live without it?

                                                                                          I wish Candy had never mentioned Anson Mills. I don't want to hear another word about it. :o(

                                                                                          1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                                            Every meal doesn't get the gourmet treatment. I keep several types/grades of grits on hand, even plain old supermarket stuff for quick breakfasts with sunny-side-ups.
                                                                                            Save the best Anson Mills to showcase for special events when their pure flavor and texture will be appreciated next to your other fine efforts in a menu that features them. A good way to celebrate American heirloom and regional foods.
                                                                                            Unless you can afford to eat them all time. Wish I could.

                                                                                          2. re: MakingSense

                                                                                            ansonmills site is fabulous--interesting and great recipes-I am a northerner and had no idea about these heirloom grains-thanks-

                                                                                            1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                              Anson Mills grits are very good and an asset to the Midlands. A friend of mine works at the mill. :-). I love what they are doing, but I also have to mention Adluh grits. They may not be organic, but they certainly taste good and can be ordered online too. I love to stop in the office downtown, buy some grits and chat about recipes with them. Here is a link to some recipe's from Adluh:

                                                                                      2. re: Candy

                                                                                        Just a plug for Anson Mills. They rock. They are the best. I'm never going back to any other grits. It does help that we stock them in our gourmet foods shop. Their Polenta from heirloom corn is fabulous too.

                                                                        2. Wow! To think I have been eating grits for breakfast my whole life and didn't even think to do so much with them. Thanks for the ideas!

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: dream_of_giusti

                                                                            I eat grits for breakfast all the time but I can't tell you the last time I actually cooked them for myself for breakfast. Usually it's only when I'm in a restaurant eating a good Sunday Brunch or I'm in Waffle House.
                                                                            There's too many fun ways to cook them for supper to worry about cooking them for breakfast.

                                                                            1. re: GrillMaster

                                                                              Leftover grits keep beautifully in the fridg and microwave as tasty as fresh, so you can have a scoop on your plate at any meal.

                                                                              I live in Maine now, and when we have a church breakfast/brunch, I frequently take grits and ham and redeye gravy, and it's always the smash hit of the day. Interesting how coffee and ham drippings compliment each other. I always wonder who came up with ideas like that.

                                                                              1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                                Appreciated your response on the North Fla. cheese grits. I too like red eye gravy/ Do you just add some coffee to drippings and simmer a little? I like Burgers smokehouse country ham. They have several varieties. I get it sliced and it is vacuum packed; lasts forever.

                                                                                1. re: steakman55

                                                                                  Fry up a thick slice of ham and set aside to keep warm. If you think there's too much fat you can skim some off before you add the coffee, but if your ham is trimmed well there's seldom too much fat. With your skillet on med.lo heat, add about a cup of strong hot coffee. If it's a country ham w/little or no sweet taste, add a few pinches of sugar (&/or a tsp. or so of good balsamic vinegar) to suit yourself. Simmer it about 3 minutes and that's it. Spoon enough over a big scoop of hot grits to saturate them. Oh my my my.

                                                                                  I order seasoning meat from Burgers. They have something called a Bargain Pack with almost 4 lbs. of jowl/ham shank/ham ends/bacon trimmings.

                                                                                  I've never had one of their hams--never could decide which to order. Which variety do you like? Some country hams are just too salty for me.

                                                                                  1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                                    I always order Burgers' City Hams for parties. Never sliced because I think spiral slicing is always way too thick. Fabulous. Avoid the sweet glaze.
                                                                                    I used to buy a Southern Smokehouse for Daddy every year that had a great country ham flavor. Burgers' offers it sliced and sealed in cryo-packs that keep it forever (Mama didn't much care for it) so he could enjoy it over a long time. Made great Red Eye.
                                                                                    We got some of the Ozark Ham too but it was the "real deal" and pretty salty for our tastes. I think the Attic Aged would be the kind of ham you could only eat in small slivers.
                                                                                    The company does an excellent smoked turkey too. Great value.

                                                                                    1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                                      As luck would have it, I just got one of their catalogs in mail this afternoon. Although I order online, I think the catalogs prompt us to think of it and order. I use the Burger's Ozark Ham, which is smoked a country year...or for you yanks, 9-12 months. I get the half ham, which according to them is a true half ham, but not a shank or butt half. The half, sliced and vacuum sealed, is 44.50 for 7-8 poiunds and 47.75 for 8-9 pounds. I find that lasts me several months. Not too salty at all in my opinion. That price is delivered.

                                                                                      1. re: steakman55

                                                                                        Problem solved. I just looked at the Burger's website and I can buy this sampler pack for $39.95:

                                                                                        "Now you can have four of our hams in an approximate 3-3.5 oz. ham cut. They're just the right size for a fried ham sandwich or for your favorite breakfast meat. Pack contains four cuts each: Ozark Ham (aged), Southern Smokehouse (hickory smoked), Cooked Tenderlean (extra tender), and Smoked City Ham (moist cured). Packed two cuts per package. Contains 8 pkgs. (16 cuts)"

                                                                                        I'm going to order it today and find out once and for all what kind of ham I really like.

                                                                            2. OK. I'm going to assume that all of you are grits-worthy or you wouldn't be reading this thread. Here is the best grits dish I know about. I've made it many times and almost don't have to wash the dish I serve it in. Hat tip to the www.labellecuisine.com site.

                                                                              This is another great combo with grilled shrimp.

                                                                              Andouille Cheese Grits

                                                                              1 tablespoon butter
                                                                              1/2 pound andouille sausage chopped fine
                                                                              1 tablespoon garlic
                                                                              4 cups milk or water or half water/half milk. I use water.
                                                                              1 teaspoon salt
                                                                              1/4 teaspoon cayenne
                                                                              2 tablespoons Tabasco, or start with 1 Tbs. if you're a scaredy cat
                                                                              2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning
                                                                              1 stick unsalted butter
                                                                              1 heaping cup stone ground speckled heart white grits
                                                                              1 cup grated cheddar. I prefer a mild-med. cheddar in this particular recipe.

                                                                              In a skillet, sauté the andouille and garlic in the butter and set aside.

                                                                              [The orig. recipe calls for quick-cooking grits and says to add the seasonings to the water as you bring it to a boil. I start the grits with just water/salt/butter, let them simmer for ~15 minutes before I stir in the cayenne, Tabasco and Creole seasoning. Simmer another 10 min.and add the sausage & garlic. Simmer 4-5 minutes more, add the cheese and stir until well blended.


                                                                              Adjust salt; add more cayenne and/or Tabasco if you want.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                                P.S. If you can't find good andouille, Jimmy Dean's Hot sausage is fine.

                                                                              2. wow! just wow!
                                                                                i'm from minneapolis where the grits are lacking...but i'm inspired now.
                                                                                i can't wait!

                                                                                1. I love grits with butter,a bit of salt and pepper and cheese-(optional hot pepper)

                                                                                    1. I'm surprised no one else does this. My father learned this from a Native American he went to school with back in the 30's. Take regular white (not instant or quick) grits and put them into a skillet with no water - just dry grits (cast iron skillet works best). Brown them over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until the grits are browned. They probably won't brown uniformly but partly to mostly brown is fine. The best indicator is the smell of toasted corn. Let the grits cool and then return to either the bag they were in or another container. Cook them normally according to the directions. They will have a totally different flavor that - to me - makes them way better than unbrowned grits. Texture is also different - you may need to add a bit more water than normal - they seem to be thirstier than unbowned grits.

                                                                                      1. A while ago The New York Times website had a video in which Savannah chef Paula Deen was asked to improvise with leftover grits. I watched it a couple of times through so I could approximate her recipe. Here goes:

                                                                                        Grit Cakes

                                                                                        Do not use instant grits! Instead, prepare quick cooking grits, for 5 minutes up to 40 minutes.

                                                                                        1 1/2 cups leftover grits
                                                                                        1 egg
                                                                                        Salt and pepper
                                                                                        1 Tbsp. olive oil
                                                                                        1 Tbsp. butter

                                                                                        Mushroom Sauce
                                                                                        1 cup sliced mushrooms
                                                                                        1/4 cup diced onions or shallots
                                                                                        1 Tbsp. grated or minced garlic
                                                                                        1 Tbsp. olive oil
                                                                                        1 Tbsp. butter
                                                                                        Salt and pepper
                                                                                        2 Tbsp. heavy cream

                                                                                        Stir together grits and egg. Season to taste. Form into two biscuit-sized patties.
                                                                                        Heat oil and butter in a skillet until butter is melted.
                                                                                        Sauté grit cakes until golden brown.
                                                                                        Serve hot.
                                                                                        If desired, top with Mushroom Sauce. Sauté sliced mushrooms, onion and garlic in a combination of oil and butter until tender. Season to taste. Add cream.

                                                                                        Yield: 2 servings

                                                                                        1. I know of a subtle way to impliment grits. You can add some cooked grits(or cream-of-wheat, but grits is better) to pancake batter. It adds a nice texture to the finished product. Or you can just make fried cakes with only grits. It'd be kind of like a hoe-cake. I like mine with syrup, honey, or fruit spread. I think Paula Deen has a recipie for REAL hoe-cakes on her site somewere. I know she serves them at her resturaunt, which is amazing.

                                                                                          Maybe I sould have looked at the post above me....
                                                                                          But Grits are also good in sweet dishes too. When my friend was in the army, people ate them multitudes of ways. With Salt'n'pepper, cheese and pepper, gravy on top, honey stirred in, sugar sprinkled on, ect. My 2 favorites are w/cheese or any of the sweeted ones.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Boonedaba1991

                                                                                            On cold, wet Winter afternoons in New Orleans, my grandmother fixed us small bowls of hot grits with butter and sugar.
                                                                                            So very different from the savory versions with eggs, grillades, or fried seafood, but it makes my toes curl....

                                                                                            1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                              Booooo! Hissssssss! ; ) Sugar in your grits is a cardinal sin in these here parts. That's the quickest way I know to label yourself a Yankee.

                                                                                              1. re: GrillMaster

                                                                                                grillmaster, i must say that making sense is one of the farthest hounds from being called a yankee on these boards.

                                                                                                on an unrelated note: what is the best bbq in mt. pleasant, sc? best breakfast? (my nephew and his family live there).