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How do you make great grits?

dmjuli Sep 17, 2008 11:18 AM

I just came back from vacation and had grits everyday for breakfast. I would love to learn how to make it. Thanks!

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  1. Morganna RE: dmjuli Sep 17, 2008 11:37 AM

    I prefer using broth instead of water for my grits. Just gives it a richer flavour to my palate. I'm also very fond of chipotle cheese grits. Chicken broth, mix in chipotle powder (I buy my from Penzey's), stir in the grits (proportions and instructions from the box) and cook thoroughly (add a little more grits to make it thick), then when it's all thick, dump in shredded/crumble cheese of your choice and mix until creamy and rich. I usually use a very sharp cheddar with the chipotle. :)

    1. m
      Miele RE: dmjuli Sep 17, 2008 11:46 AM

      That comment from the other person is pretty sarcastic, but to answer your question, I make grits all the time, and to make great grits initially its trial and error. I after many years of making grits use my own discretion in how much water to use and grits. What I mean to say that after a couple of times trying, you'll realize that if you don't put enough grits into the boiling water, they'll be soupy, and if you put too much grits into the boiling water they'll be lumpy, so you'll want to add grits for the first couple of minutes while the water's boiling to see the consistancy, then generously add after that until creamy smooth.

      1. c
        cackalackie RE: dmjuli Sep 17, 2008 01:48 PM

        I think that buying regular grits (Quaker quick - not instant) and following the instructions on the box will give you really good grits - just fine for your morning eggs. Just remember to use plenty of salt and butter.

        For great grits, I think the secret is in the grits. If you get some good quality stone ground grits, they will be better.

        Then it's just a matter of what you want - and how you plan to serve them. With eggs at breakfast? Or as a base for a main course at dinner. There are many recipes for Garlic Cheese Grits and the like (and the chipotle cheese ones just mentioned here sounde very interesting indeed).

        5 Replies
        1. re: cackalackie
          maggiej RE: cackalackie Sep 17, 2008 02:03 PM

          I haven't done it yet, but I hear ordering from Anson Mills is the best first step...

          1. re: maggiej
            lrostron RE: maggiej Sep 17, 2008 02:13 PM

            Agreed, never, ever instant grits and Anson Mills is worth the ordering. My family's favorite is cheese grits with some cooked sausage added in. I take even further for a brunch dish by adding some sauteed onion and Hatch green chiles.

            1. re: lrostron
              scubadoo97 RE: lrostron Sep 17, 2008 04:13 PM

              Agreed a good guality product is a good place to start.

              When making grits I add my grits to cold water then heat. I find they come out creamier this way. I just noted that on the Anson Mills website they recommend soaking overnight.

              1. re: scubadoo97
                Candy RE: scubadoo97 Sep 20, 2008 08:56 AM

                I use Anson Mills and I start my grits in cold water. Use a heavy pan and plan on simmering and stirring for about an hour. If you have a pressure cooker it will be a lot faster. In a pinch I will use Quaker Quick but never ever use instant. The person who thought that up should be condemned to a hell where he/she will be force fed instant tasteless grits into infinity.

                You can make a great spoonbread with grits. It is called Awendaw and is a very old recipe and quite delicious. It uses cooked grits and cornmeal. It is a favorite.

              2. re: lrostron
                ceciwild RE: lrostron Sep 27, 2008 01:45 PM

                I read your profile, what southern cooking cookbook do you have? I want to become an expert at making banana pudding.

                I am going to try to make the grils like you described it sounds great! thanks!

          2. e
            Ellen RE: dmjuli Sep 17, 2008 05:57 PM

            Absolutely go for Anson Mills coarse grits and then follow the recipe on their website, exactly. (I haven't tried their quick grits but they're probably good too). It sounds like a lot of trouble but its worth it. Once you have it down then you can play with additions and modifications to the original recipe. They have a nice shrimp and grits recipe on the website too. And if you're going to order grits from them, get some of their stone cut oats and coarse polenta too. They're not cheap but it beats anything I've found in a supermarket.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ellen
              Monch RE: Ellen Nov 10, 2008 09:20 AM

              Report back from a lurking reader of this thread.

              I took the advice of turning to Anson Mills. Purchased the coarse grits, polenta and two styles of corn meal.

              I'm a northern boy and no grits expert but this is a fantastic source. Have made the polenta and, last night, made the Anson Mills Shrimp and Grits recipe.

              I will definitely re-order!

            2. Boccone Dolce RE: dmjuli Sep 17, 2008 06:50 PM

              Had them for the first time about 5 years ago. I do find a HUGE difference between stone ground and the instant- the instant ones are crap. I do them with butter, salt and pepper, some cream- sometimes we'll toss in some shredded cheddar cheese. My boss ordered from here: http://www.adluhstore.com/info.html
              He had gone to their facility in some capacity or knows someone from there. Anyway, they were really quite delicious and remind me of polenta. Get some and don't fear-you can boil these on low for hours and they hang out in a crock pot quite nicely for a crowd.

              13 Replies
              1. re: Boccone Dolce
                paulj RE: Boccone Dolce Sep 17, 2008 07:16 PM

                Do you really mean that I might gag and throw up at the smell of the instant grits?

                OK, I know you are just using a figure of speech, but it does little to convince me that the stone ground ones are much better than instant. Instant may not be the best, but they are palatable.

                I may be an odd ball in this regard, but realistic comparisons are more convincing than exaggerated ones.

                Lest I come across as uncouth in these matters, I have cooked polenta in a double boiler for hours - long enough that they absorb a 5 or even 6:1 ratio of water. By polenta I mean yellow 'stone ground' corn from my local health food store.

                1. re: paulj
                  Morganna RE: paulj Sep 18, 2008 05:38 AM

                  I'm with you paulj. :)

                  Stone ground grits might taste better, but instant grits are far faster to cook up when you're making grits for a side with your evening meal after spending a day at work in meetings. :)

                  Not everyone has the time or the wherewithal to manage to plan their meals two or three days in advance (to soak things) and some people don't get home until after 6PM and don't have time to spend on a long-cooking product.

                  Sure, when I'm cooking on the weekends I'll cook with the higher-quality, longer-cooking ingredients (like steel cut oats instead of rolled), but I don't want to give up a nice option as a side dish just 'cos the instant version isn't as good as the stone ground. :) It is still good, just not -as- good.

                  I've even been known to use *GASP* instant rice when I forget to put my rice on first thing when I get home and I want rice with dinner. ;D

                  1. re: Morganna
                    tmso RE: Morganna Sep 18, 2008 08:16 AM

                    Instant rice? Is that actually much faster than just using a ricemaker?

                    1. re: tmso
                      paulj RE: tmso Sep 18, 2008 09:23 AM

                      Unless it uses pressure, a rice cooker does not cook rice faster. Admittedly my experience is with an older, simple model. I haven't timed it, but I think the high power setting tends to run for about 10-15 minutes, after which I'm supposed to let it sit on warm for about 15.. That's about the same as the usual 20 minute stovetop run.

                      Pressure cooker can be faster. 3 minutes of pressure, 7 of cooling according to Lorrna Sass, 6 minutes of pressure and fast cool for rissoto style.

                      Instant grits, instant mashed potatoes, and instant rice, and don't forget, instant couscous, all have their place. I use them more when camping, or time is short, or when I've put all my cooking attention into the other dishes, and need a quick 'starch' to round out the meal.

                      1. re: tmso
                        Morganna RE: tmso Sep 19, 2008 04:23 AM

                        Instant rice is faster than using the rice cooker when I forget to put the rice in the rice cooker first before starting my meal and I only remember at the last minute I wanted rice with it. :) Instant rice takes around 9 mins. Boil the water, put in the rice, let absorb. It absorbs faster. :) My rice cooker takes around 25 mins to half an hour, depending on the grain I'm using.

                        I don't -prefer- it. And if what I'm making depends on the flavour of the rice, of course I'd never ever use instant, but when it's just there for a certain grainy texture and to fill out a meal, it does well enough. :)

                        1. re: Morganna
                          DiveFan RE: Morganna Sep 19, 2008 12:38 PM

                          I'm puzzled. Since my childhood decades ago long grain rice always cooked for ~14 minutes on the stovetop, and I've found that time works perfectly with my microwave cooker. So sayeth the Gospel according to Fannie Farmer.

                          What kind of rice takes 25 - 30 minutes??

                          If I want to have 'instant' rice, I'll get the precooked, vacuum packed stuff from Trader Joes, Safeway or elsewhere. Probably costs the same as *cough*Uncle Ben's*cough wierd tasting product.

                          But we digress :-).

                          Anyone seen precooked grits, cousin to that tube o'polenta?

                          1. re: DiveFan
                            Morganna RE: DiveFan Sep 20, 2008 08:13 AM

                            *shrug* I am at a loss to explain it. It's not like it's difficult to tell when rice is cooked through (bite, if there's crunch, then it isn't done). All I can say is if I cook it less, there's crunch. On the cook top it takes upwards of 40 minutes because I'm not quite steaming it the way to cooker does it. Probably it is a failure of some simple thing on my part, but I don't have the time or inclination to figure it out when the cooker does it perfectly every time without any extra effort on my part other than just remembering to start it before I start cooking the dinner (if the dinner I'm making is a fast to cook thing, like stir fry).

                            1. re: Morganna
                              Candy RE: Morganna Sep 20, 2008 09:04 AM

                              I was wandering through the frozen foods section of my grocery store. I was shocked to see frozen rice. I guess that can be a solution.

                              I work until 6:00 PM and DH and I take turns cooking, we love our pressure cookers. Risotto in 7.5 mins, homemade split pea soup from prep to finish 15 mins. No pre-soaking of the peas either. We are such pressure cooker fans that we now have 2.

                              Fagor has just come out with a 3 in 1 appliance. It is electric and can function as a pressure cooker, slow cooker or rice cooker. Retails for about $120. I don't need it with 2 pressure cookers and have a slow cooker I never use, I don't have time for it. I've been cooking rice for 40 years and have never seen the need for a rice cooker. But for someone who has none of the above it could be a great buy.

                            2. re: DiveFan
                              Scargod RE: DiveFan Sep 23, 2008 03:52 AM

                              I've found that the brown rices take longer; five or ten minutes more.

                              1. re: DiveFan
                                scubadoo97 RE: DiveFan Sep 27, 2008 12:31 PM

                                Agree DiveFan. I cook all my white long grain rice for 15 min stovetop and use 1.5 : 1 water to rice

                                1. re: DiveFan
                                  alkapal RE: DiveFan Sep 29, 2008 04:52 AM

                                  uncle ben's brown rice is our regular rice now. i think it tastes good, and has a nice texture.


                                  btw, that uncle ben's site has tons of delicious rice recipes --- entrees, salads, you name it, with flavor profiles from all over the world. i recommend it highly.

                                  1. re: alkapal
                                    somervilleoldtimer RE: alkapal Nov 10, 2008 10:38 AM

                                    Uncle Ben's now has a 10-minute brown rice that tastes just like 50-minute brown rice. I don't use anything else now.

                          2. re: paulj
                            Mellicita RE: paulj Sep 19, 2008 08:50 PM

                            I would make a distinction between "instant"(cooks in about 1 minute) and "quick"(cooks in about 5 minutes) grits.
                            I have tried the little packets of instant grits, and wasn't very happy with the end product.. it seemed too wet and gummy.
                            By contrast the quick grits produced a very nice end product and 5 minutes compared to 1 minute is not a huge amount of time.
                            And I do agree that 30-40 minutes of slowly stirring stone ground grits can be a difficult task to undertake at the end of a long workday, even if it does yeild beautiful results. The quick grits will give you a comparatively good result.

                        2. paulj RE: dmjuli Sep 18, 2008 09:56 AM

                          Where were you vacationing? Were there variations in the grits from one place to another? Were they usually on the soupy side, with plenty of butter, salt and pepper?

                          If grits were a regular part of most breakfast dishes, the restaurant probably made up a large batch each day. So they weren't instant or quick, but they weren't necessarily expensive stone ground either.

                          The basic preparation isn't any harder than oatmeal. And if using regular as opposed to 5 minute quick grits, it is best to allow plenty of cooking time, at least 30 minutes. Grits and polenta (i.e. all coarsely ground corn) benefit from long slow cooking, as long as you don't let them dry out or burn.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: paulj
                            dmjuli RE: paulj Sep 18, 2008 03:04 PM

                            I was in Delaware and had them at the hotel everyday. They were thick, not soupy, with lots of butter and salt. I really don't know if there was anything else in there.
                            Thanks to everyone for the quick response; I think I will buy the instant and stone ground and try them both out.

                            1. re: dmjuli
                              paulj RE: dmjuli Sep 18, 2008 03:20 PM

                              Note there is a difference between instant that comes in individual servings and just requires hot water, and quick, which requires about 5 minutes of cooking. The quick kind is the better choice unless you are stuck with heating water in the microwave.

                              1. re: paulj
                                cackalackie RE: paulj Sep 19, 2008 12:19 PM

                                Agreed. I think that QUICK are preferable to INSTANT - and I cook them 7 minutes, which is usually the time it takes to toast the bread and make the eggs, etc.....

                              2. re: dmjuli
                                Mellicita RE: dmjuli Sep 19, 2008 09:04 PM

                                I prefer grits thick and rich... not soupy.
                                But its very easy to adjust to your own tastes... either add a little extra water to thin and make it more soupy.... or keep cooking until the mixture thickens to a consistency of your liking!

                            2. steakman55 RE: dmjuli Sep 18, 2008 03:12 PM

                              Try this: www.bradleyscountrystore.com
                              It is a cenutry old store outside Tallahassee, and they have coarse ground grits. You might even find a piece of cob, but its good roughage. Hint: also order some of their smoked country sausage.
                              On the other hand, try cheese grits....add plenty of shredded sharp cheddar, a dash of worcestershire, a couple of drops of tabasco, and you are in grits heaven.

                              1. DiveFan RE: dmjuli Sep 18, 2008 05:49 PM

                                No one has mentioned the MILK or BUTTERMILK options yet, both of which are fabulous. You have to be careful with buttermilk since it may break, and if it does just add some more fat :-) and continue cooking on low heat. Sour cream and yogurt are also good additions at the end in place of butter.

                                As for which kind of grits, I prefer quick or regular, Never instant. Instant grits seem to have the least flavor and only save one or two minutes cooking time over 'quick' - C'MON!

                                ALWAYS start with a soupy mixture, grits can seize and burn on you in a heartbeat. Warning - the manufacturers directions are mostly Wrong - start with at least FIVE parts liquid to one part grits. It will cook down on the stove or in the microwave in no time. Simply amazing how much grits will expand! A little cold presoak while you're in the shower can't hurt...

                                Crumbled cooked sausage, bacon, ham, chorizo, hard salami, minced onion, scallion are my flavors of choice. I've tried both melting and grating cheeses, surprisingly didn't do much for this cheese addict.

                                After all of the above, who needs butter :-)? Well, maybe the only choice at Waffle House...

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: DiveFan
                                  Morganna RE: DiveFan Sep 19, 2008 04:24 AM

                                  Maybe it's the quick I use, instead of instant... I'm not home right now so I can't look at the box. When I cook them up it only takes about five to ten minutes or so for the grits to thicken and absorb the liquid. Is that quick or instant?

                                  1. re: Morganna
                                    eamcd RE: Morganna Sep 19, 2008 08:35 AM

                                    That sounds to me like the quick grits. That's what I use too. Although I find it takes a lot more water and a lot more time than the package says for them to get as creamy as I'd like. At their timing and ratio, they are too crunchy and that's not what grits should be IMHO!

                                    Granted, I haven't tried original stone ground, but with extra time, water, and butter (sometimes cheese), the quick grits can be pretty good!

                                  2. re: DiveFan
                                    Mellicita RE: DiveFan Sep 19, 2008 08:57 PM

                                    I second the suggestion to use milk! Or even a dollop of cream, if calories are not a concern for a special dish.
                                    I also use chicken stock (which might make this "polenta") for a lovely flavor esp if serving with shrimp in a nice tasso gravy. A bit of cheddar cheese (or sometimes parmesan cheese - again crossing into "polenta" territory) adds beautiful flavor.
                                    A little butter on top really adds a lot of flavor too (I use a "light" butter like smart balance). As does a very light dash of garlic powder. And a little salt if not using much cheese. Some like to stir in sugar for a sweet breakfast dish or even add a bit of honey or maple syrup.
                                    Plain water produces a fairly boring, tasteless result, while the above suggestions will really enhance and bring out the sweet corn flavor.

                                  3. alkapal RE: dmjuli Sep 20, 2008 09:20 AM

                                    instant grits are terrible. quaker quick grits are fine for everyday breakfast, and just following label directions is all that is needed. stone ground grits are the best, and take longer (some much more than others....). riff on flavors, additions according to your tastes. there is no need to overcomplicate grits.....

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: alkapal
                                      Will Owen RE: alkapal Sep 20, 2008 06:36 PM

                                      Roger that, alkapal - I keep a stock of very fancy stoneground grits AND a box of Alber's or Quaker quick grits in my fridge. The long-cooking ones are for specific occasions, like when I want some to go with roast duck, or for some extra-fine shrimp & grits; the quick ones are for when I get a sudden hankering, or for making our favorite cheese/garlic grits. Yowza!

                                    2. c
                                      cimui RE: dmjuli Sep 20, 2008 11:49 PM

                                      In addition to other great suggestions (using broth and/or milk, adding butter & cheese), I like just letting it sit for a while to absorb flavors. Leftover grits are even better in my book. I add garlic to mine while cooking, sometimes chopped sausage or bacon, frozen or creamed corn.

                                      And I'm all about grits for dinner. They do really well with juicy meats like braised short ribs, where some of the gravy can be poured over top the grits.

                                      1. ipsedixit RE: dmjuli Sep 21, 2008 12:01 AM

                                        Use some fatback and msg.

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          alkapal RE: ipsedixit Sep 22, 2008 05:06 AM

                                          ipse, clearly you have no idea what you are talking about in this case!
                                          do you even know what fatback is? and msg, in grits? oh, you are too funny!

                                          1. re: alkapal
                                            ipsedixit RE: alkapal Sep 22, 2008 10:27 PM

                                            Eh, what do you mean?

                                            Instead of butter or salt, I just fry up some fatback and sprinkle it on top of the grits, along with a dash of msg. Nothing like a bit of pork grease and flavor enhancer to make grits come to life.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              alkapal RE: ipsedixit Sep 23, 2008 01:22 AM

                                              ipse, i'm sorry. i thought you were being facetious -- mostly because i couldn't imagine "msg" in the same sentence (or even paragraph) as "grits". then add "fatback" in, and it sounded like a slam on southerners (or at least southern stereotypes). my apologies for doubting you!

                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                ipsedixit RE: alkapal Sep 23, 2008 09:16 AM

                                                No apologies needed, and I was not being facetious and definitely not slamming southern hospitality.

                                                Try it sometime. Plus, if you talk to folks down south, you'd be surprised at how often people use fatback in their grits (or just about anything for that matter). I got my indoctrination to fatback when I spent a couple of weeks in Charleston and Columbia.


                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                  Mellicita RE: ipsedixit Oct 2, 2008 09:31 PM

                                                  MSG, sold as a powder under the name "Accent", is actually common for southern cooks to use.

                                                  1. re: Mellicita
                                                    alkapal RE: Mellicita Oct 3, 2008 05:36 AM

                                                    mellicita, i don't agree with your statement that southern cooks "commonly" use msg/"accent." i'm curious as to why you believe that, please?

                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                      Mellicita RE: alkapal Oct 3, 2008 07:36 AM

                                                      I can't say it based on research... but on personal experience with seeing how my grandmother and relatives cooked and her circle of "paula deen" style friends. In their old church cookbooks and the like you will frequently find a recipe calling for accent. (my "southern" area of experience would include the states of alabama/georgia/very north edge of florida)

                                                      1. re: Mellicita
                                                        alkapal RE: Mellicita Oct 3, 2008 10:42 AM

                                                        yeah, my mom's side is from marianna, florida, right where you are talking about. i'm from southern gulf coast (fort myers). i have lots of relatives in the atlanta area, too --- and colonial heights, virginia.

                                                        i never saw accent in mom's side's cooking, and really can't recall seeing it in recipes in a lot of my southern "community" cookbooks.

                                                        this discussion will give me an impetus to look for that ingredient. ;-)

                                                    2. re: Mellicita
                                                      Scargod RE: Mellicita Oct 3, 2008 06:21 AM

                                                      Me, too (why do you say that?). NOT in my circles of North Texas, central Texas and Oklahoma.

                                            2. re: ipsedixit
                                              alkapal RE: ipsedixit Sep 22, 2008 05:22 AM

                                              dive fan, i don't think any self-respecting southerner would buy grits in a tube, like polenta.

                                              on the other hand, for a little round grits from a glass tube, do this: butter up a straight-sided medium-size (or smaller) glass and put leftover grits in it, and moderately pack it. next morning, or later for supper, slide out the "tube" and cut off 1/2 to 3/4 inch rounds. then, fry those up in some bacon fat. grits thus prepared are even better than the first time! they get a crispy, bacony crust.

                                              oh. yeah. baby. ;-)

                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                tmso RE: alkapal Sep 22, 2008 05:45 AM

                                                alkapal, tell me you're not implying that a self-respecting Italian (or Italoamerican) would buy polenta in a tube!

                                                1. re: tmso
                                                  alkapal RE: tmso Sep 22, 2008 05:58 AM

                                                  i am saying nothing -- absolutely nothing -- about any italian. doing anything. ever. ("i know no-thing" a la sgt. schultz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztgYhV...


                                                  (btw, the godfather series is in a new dvd release) (;-0)
                                                  <"oh no she dih-nt!">

                                            3. s
                                              Sharuf RE: dmjuli Sep 21, 2008 03:00 AM

                                              When I make polenta, I prefer to let it set up overnight, and then cut it into squares and pan-fry. Do folks do that with grits, or is it generally served in mush form?

                                              11 Replies
                                              1. re: Sharuf
                                                cimui RE: Sharuf Sep 21, 2008 06:00 AM

                                                yep, they're called "southern fried grits" in kentucky. mush form is much more common for breakfast, but you might see fried grits for supper.

                                                (i could be wrong, but isn't the only difference between grits and polenta the fineness of the grind, with polenta generally bein more finely ground?)

                                                1. re: cimui
                                                  paulj RE: cimui Sep 21, 2008 09:21 AM

                                                  It's the type of cheese you add - cheddar to grits, parama, Gorgonzola and mascarpone to polenta :)

                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                    cimui RE: paulj Sep 21, 2008 09:47 AM

                                                    and if you add both cheddar and parama, you get grilenta!

                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                      alkapal RE: paulj Sep 22, 2008 05:08 AM

                                                      with respect paulj, it has absolutely nothing to do with the type of cheese one adds.

                                                      edit: sorry paulj, i just saw your smiley face! (without the nose, it sort of disappeared.)
                                                      (anyhoo, note to folks complaining over there on site talk about smileys, here you can see they *do* make a difference in understanding a post. now i know the erudite paulj was offering his comment in jest.)

                                                    2. re: cimui
                                                      Will Owen RE: cimui Sep 21, 2008 09:56 PM

                                                      What I got used to was HOMINY grits, which are milled from dried corn that has been soaked in lime or lye water and then dried again. Most of the mills today are simply grinding varieties of dried field corn, so it really is like a coarse polenta. It's all good, and I'm not complaining, but I do love the whang of hominy. Now, what I'm wondering is whether we could run dried posole - which is hominy - through a Corona mill, and make our own grits. Or, better yet, sun-dry the wet whole-grain hominy they sell in the Mexican markets and grind that, germ and all, to make whole-grain hominy grits?

                                                      1. re: Will Owen
                                                        alkapal RE: Will Owen Sep 22, 2008 05:12 AM

                                                        will owen, i was just looking at some dried hominy (posole) at the shoppers food warehouse. the kernels look like they'd take a toll on my food processor. but a grinder might work. if you tried it, your grits might not look pretty and creamy white, though, but more of a rustic creamy yellow. right? (or am i confusing the color of posole with something else here?)

                                                        edit: re-reading your post, will, i don't think you'll get "whole grain" hominy, because the hull is gone with the lye, right?

                                                        but you can just grind the dried corn, according to this wiki :

                                                        "Hominy can be ground coarsely to make hominy grits, or into a fine mash (dough) to make masa, the dough used to make tamales."

                                                        and of special interest to you, perhaps:

                                                        "Rockihominy, a popular trail food in the 19th & early 20th centuries, is dried corn roasted to a golden brown, then ground to a very coarse meal, almost like hominy grits."

                                                        source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hominy

                                                        and cimui, check the recent thread about masa harina and cornmeal; there is a subthread re arepas....

                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                          Will Owen RE: alkapal Sep 22, 2008 01:04 PM

                                                          The word for that moist hominy I was trying to remember is nixtamal, available in Mexican-heavy area markets in plastic bags. Yes, the hull is gone, but the germ is attached at the bottom of each kernel, and for making masa each one has to be pulled off. What I was suggesting was drying the whole kernels and running them through a mill, though it seems silly to buy a rehydrated dry product and then re-dehydrate it... I'm just trying to figure out how to wind up with whole-grain hominy grits, is all.

                                                          I don't have a problem with color; I actually prefer the taste of yellow corn, finding it richer, rounder and cornier...

                                                          1. re: Will Owen
                                                            alkapal RE: Will Owen Sep 22, 2008 03:38 PM

                                                            will. i had a much longer comment (that i can't re-create right now), but the chow-monster ate it up! aaarrrggghhh! will try later....

                                                            aaaarrrggghhh again! chow, please fix this flippin' site!

                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                              Will Owen RE: alkapal Sep 22, 2008 06:22 PM

                                                              Text editors are the best friends you can have under such circumstances; I've learned when a piece of mine has spun out into a major essay to copy/paste the text into a plain-text document on the desktop. That way if your browser (or - ahem! - someone else's) eats your work, you can re-send it ad infinitum.

                                                              1. re: Will Owen
                                                                alkapal RE: Will Owen Sep 23, 2008 01:19 AM

                                                                thanks, will, for the reminder about that. i should have learned before!

                                                        2. re: Will Owen
                                                          cimui RE: Will Owen Sep 22, 2008 06:55 AM

                                                          ah interesting -- thanks, will, for this explanation. the lime/lye makes a big difference in texture! (masarepa vs. corn meal -- difference is drastic)

                                                          now i wonder if you'd get hominy grits or something like it by using masarepa?

                                                    3. c
                                                      chefstu RE: dmjuli Sep 22, 2008 06:23 AM

                                                      I use 1/2 water or broth and 1/2 cream as a base recipe then add whatever I want, like cheese at the end. Many of my customers say these are the best grits they've ever eaten.

                                                      1. c
                                                        charlyd80 RE: dmjuli Sep 26, 2008 04:27 PM

                                                        For my taste, I prefer Jim Dandy, they really are dandy. I never start in boiling water.. To apt to clump. I use a bit more water than directed, and cook longer. (Necessary in our higher altitude) Then add a package on GOYA Ham Flavored Seasoning, black pepper, lots of butter, and if available, some cooked ham, sausage, or bacon. A coupe hot biscuits smathered with lots of butter, and blueberry jam.

                                                        Oh, better double that order..


                                                        11 Replies
                                                        1. re: charlyd80
                                                          alkapal RE: charlyd80 Sep 27, 2008 07:00 AM

                                                          now i'm going to try one of my goya "sazon" packets next time, too! good tip. (culantro with achiote flavor). that would be good with fried eggs, or sauteed shrimp on top, or stir-fried snow pea shoots with garlic (the new "greens" love of my life, courtesy of our best local szechuan restaurant, hong kong palace.)

                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                            Scargod RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 06:53 AM

                                                            ALKAPAL! Goya Sazon is mostly MSG! (I'm sure it would make grits taste yummy)

                                                            1. re: Scargod
                                                              alkapal RE: Scargod Sep 29, 2008 08:06 AM

                                                              should i hide? you scared me, scargod! (you didn't talk that way to charleyd! -- and ipsedixit uses msg, too!!!) {;^D

                                                              hmmmm, i didn't know about the mega-msg. i just used some in a garbanzo bean and hot smoked sausage soup. i only thought sodium was the goya culprit....oh well. soup was good. (in fact, thanks for reminding me: leftovers in fridge!) i'm going to see if it gives me a headache.

                                                            2. re: alkapal
                                                              Scargod RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 11:48 AM

                                                              Oh, those damn moderators. Can't even joke about mushrooms!
                                                              Alkapal, I use the Goya Sazon primarily in my beans. I have no issues using MSG and it doesn't bother us. Neither do wild mushrooms if you educate yourself and eat them responsibly. This is chanterelle time!

                                                              1. re: Scargod
                                                                alkapal RE: Scargod Sep 30, 2008 04:41 AM

                                                                scargod, i'm sorry the mods got to the 'shrooms before i had a chance! ;-)

                                                                if this is chanterelle eason, maybe those would be good with some garlic in grits! or just sauteed in butter, and tossed on top -- a nice comforting autumn dish! maybe served with rich, braised short ribs! oh. yeah.

                                                                1. re: Scargod
                                                                  Passadumkeg RE: Scargod Sep 30, 2008 05:28 AM

                                                                  I've never made grits, gotta give it a try. What else is served w/ it? Red eye gravy too.
                                                                  Damn Yankee

                                                                  After last weekend's storm, so many schrooms, so little time time and space.
                                                                  Stalkin' the wild grouse too. Time to eat, not drink, Wild Turkey.

                                                                  You know, I'm not even sure I could find grits in Ellsworth.

                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                    alkapal RE: Passadumkeg Sep 30, 2008 05:51 AM

                                                                    passadumkeg, surely ellsworth will have quaker quick grits. don't get instant, whatever you do!

                                                                    once you decide you like grits, you can go for some of the mail-order gourmet "stone-ground" grits, like anson mills, or bob's red mill. many threads discuss these preferences. i'll see if any is in my "favorites" folder.

                                                                    so far: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/405254
                                                                    another thread, with savory grits recipes: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/392030

                                                                    here are some sources for grits that i've bookmarked as "recommended" by hounds:

                                                                    and from my native florida:
                                                                    their sausage was recommended, too...

                                                                    maybe it is time for a grits-off! see whose are the best. so much depends on whether you like fine vs. coarse, imo. i prefer mine coarser.

                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                      Scargod RE: Passadumkeg Sep 30, 2008 05:53 AM

                                                                      I'd be happy to share some of my old, weevily grits. Just think of them as ground posole.
                                                                      Grits can be plain and boring or, like polenta or couscous, they can be dolled up and lipstick applied.
                                                                      If the others are good with 'shrooms, grits would be too.
                                                                      Do you have hydnum repandum (Wood Hedgehog or Hedgehog mushroom), where you are? They are closely related to the chanterelles.

                                                                      1. re: Scargod
                                                                        Passadumkeg RE: Scargod Sep 30, 2008 06:15 AM

                                                                        Cn't even find hominy for posole! The sticks.

                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                          paulj RE: Passadumkeg Sep 30, 2008 06:36 AM

                                                                          You could order hominy from one of the online Latino groceries.

                                                                          For example on this page
                                                                          Peru Food Maiz Mote produces quite large kernels. (Mote is the Andean term for this treated corn).

                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                            Passadumkeg RE: paulj Sep 30, 2008 03:17 PM

                                                                            I do order yellow and blue corn from ol' New Mexico.

                                                              2. r
                                                                ramona0101 RE: dmjuli Sep 26, 2008 07:51 PM

                                                                Grits - Yum!!! My favorite ways vary according to how we are going to serve them, but for breakfast, as you mentioned, I use Quaker Quick Grits. Use the directions on the package, but add extra salt, pepper and lots of butter to the water. Stir in the grits really well, then begin to check on them after just a couple minutes because they always cook faster than it states! At that point you can add cheese and let it melt if you want cheese grits. We often make bowls of these on a cool night.
                                                                Weekend mornings we serve fried eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits with our grits and it all makes one big mess on your plate - but such a great big yummy mess!!!
                                                                I have to say there's not much that can top good southern grits, except maybe SWEET TEA!!!
                                                                Good luck!

                                                                1. w
                                                                  wdheslop RE: dmjuli Sep 30, 2008 09:21 AM

                                                                  Put a tablespoon of Garlic Powder and Adobo seasoning in a pot with 3 cups of water. Add 1 cup of grits. Bring to a boil. Simmer and stir for about 20 minutes or until set. Do nor cover the pot while cooking

                                                                  1. Passadumkeg RE: dmjuli Oct 2, 2008 02:06 AM

                                                                    How funny, my thoroughly Yankee wife asked me at breakfast yesterday, "What are grits?" A student had said grits were her favorite breakfast. I whipped out my trusty MacBook and went straight to this thread. Thanks everyone.

                                                                    1. l
                                                                      LisaPA RE: dmjuli Oct 3, 2008 04:29 PM

                                                                      I can't believe I haven't seen this posted already. When I was a kid, my great-grandmother always made grits with egg and bacon mixed in. You add the egg raw after you've taken it off the stove--the heat from the grits cooks the egg, but it mixes throughout to give it a lovely golden color with no cooked egg bits. Then add crumbled, crisp bacon. It's breakfast in a bowl!

                                                                      Now that I live "up north" and grits can be hard to find, my mom makes sure I have a 5lb bag of Quaker to take back with me when I visit.

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