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I love/hate grits. How do you feel about them?

suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 08:47 AM

Being a southern girl I love them BUT, I have grit rules... they must be smooth but not runny. Not so thick you can scoop them like ice cream. Cheese is acceptable. Here's where it gets nutty. I want them served with over medium eggs and breakfast meat only. If someone serves them with scrambled I will still eat them but runny egg yolks and grits is perfection. Southern ice cream as my dad used to call it. How do you love/ hate your grits?

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  1. jmcarthur8 Jun 16, 2012 09:23 AM

    It's a bit of a love/hate thing for me, too. I read a recipe the other day that cooked stone ground grits in the crock pot, and since I didn't have that much time before dinner, I cooked them low and slow for a couple of hours on the stove. Much longer than I usually cook them. They turned out delicious.
    I also threw in some Vidalia onions that I had cooked down in bacon fond, and served the grits with butter poached shrimp.
    For breakfast, I am a cheese grits girl all the way. Any kind of bacon and eggs in it is fine, too, but butter and cheese are the thing for me.

    Having been raised mostly in the Midwest, I'd never had grits till I was a teenager. After graduating high school, at 17, I spent a few months hitchhiking around the South. At a seedy boarding house I was staying at for a while in Durham North Carolina, they served grits every morning with breakfast. Being a lover of Cream of Wheat, I figured I'd try milk and sugar on those grits. So I asked the lady who cooked if I could have my grits in a little bowl with milk and sugar. She and the other roomers (who were a combination of schizophrenics and Socialists, parolees and oldsters, all from the South) looked at me like I had two heads, but she gave me my grits the way I wanted them.
    Now, living in Georgia, I eat my grits like a grown up, but someday I think I just may try the milk and sugar again, just for old time's sake.

    25 Replies
    1. re: jmcarthur8
      suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 09:30 AM

      The two heads comment is funny. In my house it was perfectly acceptable to eat them sweet. I like them savory myself though. My dad ate them with. Utter and brown sugar. Sometimes cinnamon. I sometimes eat the instant with a slice of cheese. Please don't take away my southern card for eating instant

      1. re: jmcarthur8
        f
        fourunder Jun 16, 2012 09:37 AM

        Having been raised mostly in the Midwest, I'd never had grits till I was a teenager....

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        That's funny....being raised in New Jersey, My first introduction was also as a teenager.....but in Wisconsin. I used to teach tennis at a summer camp in Beaver Dam. The Academy had a lot of instructors from Roanoke, Virginia and Sarasota, Florida. To give them a taste of home, the School kitchen prepared grits for them every morning. One day everyone was looking at the *Hottest Girl* in camp....she topped her grits off with Maple Syrup and the *Southern Boys* all had a good laugh. I asked what was so funny and they told me the only way to eat them was with butter, salt and pepper. I gave them a try and have been hooked ever since (40+ years).

        1. re: fourunder
          suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 09:41 AM

          That is ironic. I am a third generation Sarasota native. Love me some grits!

        2. re: jmcarthur8
          JenJeninCT Jun 29, 2012 07:01 PM

          My ex ate them with milk and sugar, too, which was always bizarre to me, a Southern purist- it's butter and salt for me, please, preferably with an over easy egg or 2 on top/alongside. Cheese grits are ok, but I really prefer them unadulterated other than my obligatory butter and salt.

          1. re: JenJeninCT
            k
            kengk Jun 30, 2012 06:11 AM

            My dad's family is from N.E. Georgia, in the mountains. They didn't eat grits very often but when they did it was with sugar. I've never had them sweet, don't really care for a sweet breakfast so have never felt compelled to try them that way.

            1. re: kengk
              JenJeninCT Jun 30, 2012 09:13 AM

              That's funny, my family is from GA as well, although Atlanta and Southern coast

          2. re: jmcarthur8
            Bill Hunt Jul 3, 2012 09:49 PM

            Yes, there is a "love-hate" attitude with grits. We have encountered many, who claimed, and often very loudly, that they could not eat grits. However, most of those same people fought to get polenta onto their plate - go figure.

            Hunt

            1. re: Bill Hunt
              w
              wyogal Jul 4, 2012 05:18 AM

              I love polenta, hate grits. I have yet to see any grits that are yellow, that taste like polenta. I've only seen the white. If it is the exact same thing, the yellow, that is, then it must be nomenclature... called something different, but the same. In my experience, the two are very different.

              1. re: wyogal
                l
                Leepa Jul 4, 2012 02:24 PM

                One of the things I don't recall seeing mentioned in this discussion is the differences in texture between good stone ground grits and polenta. Grits are much more coarse than the stone ground cornmeal that I use for polenta. To me that's the main difference. Other than the hominy thing. And I'm not going to get into the discussion about hominy. I grew up in the South and have my own opinion which nothing said here will change. : )

                For me, white for grits and yellow for polenta. Mmmmm.

                1. re: Leepa
                  paulj Jul 4, 2012 04:21 PM

                  Why do you use that particular cornmeal for polenta? Why not use a more coarse one? I just saw a slide show that shows at least 3 grinds of Italian cornmeal, from fine (often used for cakes and breads) to coarse. Bobs Red Mill sells a yellow 'grits/polenta' that is coarser than their stone ground corn meal.

                  The coarseness of the grind affects cooking time. But if you cook any grind long enough so that it is well hydrated, there shouldn't be a big difference in texture. It's when they are undercooked that quick grits can seem watery, and coarse grinds seem gritty.

                  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/05/types-of-polenta_n_1403770.html

                  bramata - moderately coarse
                  fioretto - fine
                  bianca - fine white
                  taragna - with buckwheat
                  integrale - whole grain, coarse

                  I believe instant polenta is quite popular on the Italian market as well.
                  http://www.polentamoretti.com/eng/sot...

                  1. re: paulj
                    l
                    Leepa Jul 4, 2012 04:29 PM

                    I don't cook my grits for a short amount of time nor are they undercooked. They do maintain a texture but not a gritty one.

                    I don't cook polenta for quite as long a time as grits, but certainly enough time for them to become well cooked and creamy with less texture than my grits. My choices indicate my preference for the dishes. You are free to make your own choices.

                    1. re: Leepa
                      paulj Jul 4, 2012 07:35 PM

                      I'm just trying to make the case there's more (or is it less?) to the difference between grits and polenta than the grind size.

                      Polenta, at least in Italy, comes in various grinds, from fine to coarse. Grits also vary, from the relatively fine quick grits (Quaker and Albers are the 2 national brands), to stone ground with a wide range of grit sizes. Even cornmeal, yellow or white, can be cooked into a mush, and flavored with butter and cheddar.

                      Obviously grind does figure into people's preferences, regardless of what they call the mush.

                      1. re: paulj
                        l
                        Leepa Jul 4, 2012 07:45 PM

                        I concede. I don't buy Quaker or Albers or any quick (or god forbid, instant) grits so I can't attest to their texture or grind size. No experience there, unfortunately.

                        1. re: Leepa
                          paulj Jul 4, 2012 09:13 PM

                          Do you get a local millers product? Anson Mills too expensive for me, though Trader Joes started to sell a while stone ground product which looks similar. I'm not entirely sold on it. I can work with almost anything.

                          1. re: paulj
                            l
                            Leepa Jul 5, 2012 03:30 PM

                            Usually I do get local product. Most likely to be from Dellinger Mill in Mitchell County, NC. Sometimes from Nora Mill in Helen, GA. I keep meaning to stop by Falls Mills when I'm nearby in TN, but just keep forgetting. There are also a few other local mills, but those are the ones that come to mind.

                            1. re: paulj
                              Bill Hunt Jul 5, 2012 07:00 PM

                              Anson Mills is not the cheapest, but for us, it is not about the unit price, but about the level of enjoyment.

                              We source our grits from several sources, and enjoy them. Are any the cheapest option? I highly doubt it. Still, compared to the coins that fall through the holes in my trouser pockets, they are cheap, but provide enjoyment.

                              Just me,

                              Hunt

                          2. re: paulj
                            Bill Hunt Jul 5, 2012 06:57 PM

                            PaulJ,

                            I agree with you. There is polenta, then polenta, and finally polenta. It depends.

                            Same for grits. Some pick up some box of "instant grits, " and then pass judgement. Would they do the same on all hamburgers, when they have only had a Big Mac?

                            The world is a very large place, and to limit one's experience, on culinary things, to one experience, with a box, and a pot of boiling water, is sort of defeating the purpose - enjoyment.

                            Hunt

                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                              paulj Jul 6, 2012 10:44 AM

                              Do they sell instant grits in a box? I thought they only came in single serving packets? I've only used those for convenience when camping, and then decided they weren't good for even that (same for the 'add water' oatmeal). But quick grits, which call for 5 minutes of cooking (though I take them to 20) are quite palatable.

                              1. re: paulj
                                Bill Hunt Jul 6, 2012 06:58 PM

                                Paulj,

                                I am the last person to ask that question of. We never do "instant," and order in from several mills around the US (mostly South and Southeast). I have no idea.

                                Sorry,

                                Hunt

                      2. re: Leepa
                        Bill Hunt Jul 5, 2012 06:53 PM

                        Not always. It just depends.

                        I have had grits that are ground to almost a heavy dust, but have had others, that are about 1/16th of a kernel.

                        Which grits are your talking about?

                        Hunt

                      3. re: wyogal
                        Bill Hunt Jul 5, 2012 06:52 PM

                        Well, we have several suppliers of yellow grits, like Anson Mills, and College of the Ozarks. Grits do not have to be made from white corn - yellow corn is OK. They usually have different tastes, and in MY experiences, yellow grits are usually a bit more coarsely ground, than the general white grits, though not always. It just depends.

                        It is like saying that I hate white corn tortillas, but love yellow corn tortillas, or even blue corn tortillas. The answer is to order the one, that you DO like.

                        Hunt

                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                          w
                          wyogal Jul 6, 2012 10:36 AM

                          I find that there isn't as big as a distinction between the various colors of chips as there is in polenta/grits types.

                          1. re: wyogal
                            Bill Hunt Jul 6, 2012 07:02 PM

                            Not sure that I agree, but it could well depend on the exact tortillas, or on personal tastes. For me, there are noticeable differences with either.

                            Hunt

                    2. re: jmcarthur8
                      q
                      Querencia Jul 4, 2012 04:31 PM

                      JM, I'm with you. Driving through the South I ordered grits every morning and ate them as hot cereal with cream and sugar. Delicious. Yes, I got funny looks. This was easier if I just didn't make eye contact with anybody.

                      1. re: Querencia
                        l
                        Leepa Jul 4, 2012 05:26 PM

                        That's good that you didn't. You missed all the gag reflexes that way.

                        Just kidding.... sorta. : D

                        Enjoy your grits the way you like em!

                    3. f
                      fourunder Jun 16, 2012 09:30 AM

                      I enjoy them as you do....do not mind scrambled eggs at all, but prefer eggs basted or over easy, not medium. any breakfast meat is fine....butter, salt and pepper, of course.

                      Rather than cheese, I prefer variations of Shrimp and Grits to be enhanced with Concasse Tomatoes. Scallops and Mussels are also nice sea food additions. Andouille, Chorizo or Smoked Sausage or Tasso Ham also make nice savory additions

                      1. JerryMe Jun 16, 2012 09:31 AM

                        Hate. Cannot stand them no matter the texture or add-ins. SO LOVES them and orders them whenever he can, when we eat out. I do not make them.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JerryMe
                          suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 09:36 AM

                          Isn't it funny? You are on one side of the fence or the other. My bf looks in disgust as i eat them and he gets his McDonald's style has brown patty that he loves with his breakfast

                        2. mamachef Jun 16, 2012 09:56 AM

                          Oh, manoman. I am a grits lover from waaaaaay back....Anson Mills, made with half milk and cooked for 45 minutes to an hour. THE penultimate vehicle for good unsalted butter and crunchy kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper, topped with medium eggs, crunchy brown bacon aside - or a delicous juicy sage-y sausage patty. I agree that cheese is acceptable. I prefer good sharp cheddar, but I have a girlfriend who stirs boursin into hers and it's actually pretty dang good. But oh yes, thick drippy golden egg yolk, butter drenched flowing into the perfection of the grits.
                          And a souffle can be delicious: grits mixed w/ cheese and crumbled bacon or sausage, mixed w/ egg yolks and combined w/ whipped egg whites folded in; baked till firm and puffy and then set to rest for 20 minutes. Boy do I love me some grits.
                          I also like to make extra and put it into a loaf pan, then slice and flour them the next day and saute in butter 'til crunchy outside and creamy inside. Awesome w/ chicken or sausage gravy, or tomato gravy for that matter.

                          32 Replies
                          1. re: mamachef
                            suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 10:31 AM

                            Grit cakes and tomato gravy. I just went straight back to my grandmas table. Don't forget the buttermilk biscuits so you can choose which to cover in gravy. I choose both, please.

                            1. re: suzigirl
                              mamachef Jun 16, 2012 10:58 AM

                              Ohhhh, lucky you. My family thinks my love for all things Southron points to me being from another planet, since that's my catering/food history specialty. And of course, there shall be biscuits, plenty of warm flaky biscuits to mop everything up.

                              1. re: mamachef
                                suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 11:07 AM

                                I think you and i were cut from the same cloth

                              2. re: suzigirl
                                jmcarthur8 Jun 16, 2012 04:05 PM

                                I like tomato gravy on the sausage, too.

                                1. re: jmcarthur8
                                  suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 04:13 PM

                                  I would eat proper tomato gravy on a flipflop. I have had some pretty good ones but none hold a candle to grandma Mary's . Love you grandma and rip.

                                  1. re: suzigirl
                                    jmcarthur8 Jun 16, 2012 04:19 PM

                                    The only time I get tomato gravy is when the master breakfast maker in our Master Gardener organization does a big breakfast buffet for the rest of us. His is the only tomato gravy I've ever had, and it is absolutely delicious. I told him not to tell me how to make it - I only want his.

                                    1. re: jmcarthur8
                                      suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 05:37 PM

                                      Trust me ....pick his brain. You will never duplicate it nor will anyone else. Stand at his hip and watch like a hawk. You will miss it horribly when it is gone and nothing else will fill his gravy filled shoes. Take my sage advice. I was to young to know how good grandma Mary's gravy was and have no idea how to recreate its deliciousness

                                      1. re: suzigirl
                                        jmcarthur8 Jun 16, 2012 08:24 PM

                                        Suzi, he did tell me he just adds a can of diced tomatoes to his regular sausage gravy. I did not ask how he makes his sausage gravy, though. That's when I stopped him from telling me any more.
                                        He's in his 70's, so maybe I'd better start helping with the cooking when he's in the kitchen ..before he passes the breakfast torch on to the next MG.. I told his wife I'd marry him for his scrambled eggs. They're that good. I want to watch him make those, too.

                                        1. re: jmcarthur8
                                          suzigirl Jun 17, 2012 08:17 AM

                                          That sounds really good but it is not like the tomato gravy my grandma made. Hers was almost like cream of tomato soup but thicker. And slightly sweetened. Mary always made fried in a huge skillet. And we got a chocolate flavored chewable vitamin. We loved those silly thing in all their chalky glory.

                                          1. re: suzigirl
                                            mamachef Jun 17, 2012 08:32 AM

                                            suzigirl, is it possible that cream of tomato soup is exactly what grandma used as the base for her gravy, maybe adding a little roux? Even if she didn't it's an idea you could play around with, especially if the taste resonates with you. If she used home-canned strained tomatoes, or tomato sauce, and added whole milk or cream and a little sweetener (I'm thinking regular sugar, or perhaps a hit of molasses or cane syrup?), you might could play w/ that, too, subbing in a brand of really good commercial tomatoes if you can't lay your hands on home-canned, pureeing and straining them and then adding to a blonde roux w. some sugar and a hit of clove.

                                            1. re: mamachef
                                              suzigirl Jun 17, 2012 08:59 AM

                                              I have tried canned tomato soup but grandma canned her own tomatoes so something she did I am missing a step. I think I can't buy the one thing I am missing, the most important ingredient of all..... love.

                                              1. re: suzigirl
                                                mamachef Jun 17, 2012 12:52 PM

                                                Awwwww. I totally understand. Bacon fat tastes a lot like love, but it's not the same thing at all.

                                    2. re: suzigirl
                                      Bill Hunt Jul 3, 2012 09:56 PM

                                      Interesting, as my family ONLY did tomato gravy (with caramelized onions, bacon bits and bacon grease) on rice - never grits.

                                      Though from the deepest of the Deep South, shows how things can differ, family to family.

                                      Thanks,

                                      hunt

                                2. re: mamachef
                                  jmcarthur8 Jun 16, 2012 10:34 AM

                                  Back in Indiana, I used to buy the blocks of corn meal mush in the dairy department, sliced them up and fried them in butter. Served with maple syrup.
                                  They don't sell mush here in Georgia.

                                  1. re: jmcarthur8
                                    suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 10:40 AM

                                    Try the pasta isle for polenta in a tube. It is non refrigerated and looks like the bulk sausage tube. Very similar creature that might quiet that nagging hunger for cornmeal mush. Good luck

                                    1. re: jmcarthur8
                                      mamachef Jun 16, 2012 10:56 AM

                                      Mmmmmmmm..........good stuff. And easy enough to make at home.'

                                      1. re: mamachef
                                        jmcarthur8 Jun 16, 2012 04:06 PM

                                        We do make it at home with leftover grits. But I love the name 'mush'.

                                      2. re: jmcarthur8
                                        paulj Jun 16, 2012 02:35 PM

                                        Try that with left over oatmeal or cream of wheat!

                                      3. re: mamachef
                                        Becca Porter Jun 16, 2012 02:11 PM

                                        Penultimate?

                                        ;)

                                        1. re: Becca Porter
                                          mamachef Jun 16, 2012 02:27 PM

                                          Did I misuse a word? it happens. Ok, well it conveys the meaning so I'm cool with it. Thank you!

                                          1. re: mamachef
                                            suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 02:34 PM

                                            I think we all got your drift. Besides I am happy if I spell this gs correctly, let alone use them in.their proper context. Ya know? :-)

                                            1. re: suzigirl
                                              suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 02:37 PM

                                              I hate auto spell check. Things not this gs, whatever the hell that means. Thanks auto spell check

                                            2. re: mamachef
                                              Becca Porter Jun 17, 2012 12:36 PM

                                              It is just a pet peeve of mine. I used to use it incorrectly, and now I try to spread the knowledge. Lol. No disrespect at all intended.

                                              1. re: Becca Porter
                                                mamachef Jun 17, 2012 12:53 PM

                                                None taken. My thanks was sincere. I don't mind standing corrected, and I'd rather use a word correctly than come off like a hillbilly. :)

                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                  ipsedixit Jun 17, 2012 12:55 PM

                                                  Malapropism affects us all. Chowhounds in particular. Read enough on these boards and you'll see all sorts of hilarious uses and misuses of words.

                                              2. re: mamachef
                                                kubasd Jun 17, 2012 12:42 PM

                                                Penultimate means "the one before the last" or "the next to last," even though it looks like it should mean "the most ultimate" or something like that.... I used to always use it wrong, too, which is the only reason I know what it actually means, haha.

                                                1. re: kubasd
                                                  mamachef Jun 17, 2012 12:53 PM

                                                  See above. :)

                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                    kubasd Jun 18, 2012 03:24 PM

                                                    Glad you read that with the spirit that was intended :)

                                                  2. re: kubasd
                                                    tcamp Jun 18, 2012 06:31 PM

                                                    A fancy way of saying 'second best'

                                                2. re: Becca Porter
                                                  Bill Hunt Jul 3, 2012 10:06 PM

                                                  Not sure what you mean here. Maybe my glasses need cleaning, but I rather think that that poster had this in mind: http://www.bing.com/Dictionary/search...

                                                  The "ultimate" of anything, without question.

                                                  Maybe I am incorrect here?

                                                  Hunt

                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                    Becca Porter Jul 5, 2012 01:41 PM

                                                    It comes from the word penult not ultimate. From your link, it means the next to the last of something. November is the penultimate month of the year.

                                                    1. re: Becca Porter
                                                      Bill Hunt Jul 5, 2012 07:03 PM

                                                      Ah, I had not picked up on what you were saying. Now I understand.

                                                      My confusion... my bad. The whole thing just went over my head, but no longer.

                                                      Thank you,

                                                      Hunt

                                              3. mucho gordo Jun 16, 2012 10:47 AM

                                                I've never had grits; primarily because I really don't know what they are. My impression is that grits don't have much taste and the consistency is similar to a bowl of cream of wheat. It would be like having a bowl of cereal with my ham and eggs. Am I wrong?

                                                21 Replies
                                                1. re: mucho gordo
                                                  suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 10:51 AM

                                                  Cream of wheat has much less texture. Grits are very mild in taste but are a wonderful foil for butter, salt and pepper.

                                                  1. re: mucho gordo
                                                    mamachef Jun 16, 2012 10:54 AM

                                                    This is an interesting question and a bit of a poser, mucho gordo. You're correct; grits don't carry a lot of taste, and are more a vehicle that needs to be doctored up to really truly shine. But grits, plain, have a faint corny flavor. It's really a textural thing, sensorily. And they don't taste like cream of wheat or cream of rice. And if you asked a hundred people what grits taste like, (which basically, you just did :) you'll get a hundred different answers. Do try 'em, though. Just get really really good ones, defintely none of that instant or quick-cooking stuff, and if you can find some stone-milled grits, so much the better. And cook them for 15-20 minutes longer than most recipes call for, until they pull away from the edge of the sauce pan and just send up a little bubble now and again.

                                                    1. re: mamachef
                                                      mucho gordo Jun 16, 2012 11:00 AM

                                                      How would I doctor it up? Can I add some chorizo to it, for example? One of my favorite treats is chorizo mixed with garlic mashed. Will grits be a good substitute?

                                                      1. re: mucho gordo
                                                        f
                                                        fourunder Jun 16, 2012 11:04 AM

                                                        I would suggest you prepare, let cool and set ....cut into squares and pan fry crisp as another option.

                                                        1. re: mucho gordo
                                                          mamachef Jun 16, 2012 12:13 PM

                                                          I'd take my maiden voyage with grits, buttered salted and peppered so you can enjoy the whole gestalt. If chorizo and garlic is your trip (and damn does that sound tasty), why not saute that chorizo and mashed garlic and serve it atop the grits with an egg prepared however you like it.. You are in for a treat, and a bigger treat if you saute some bell pepper and onion with that chorizo. Add some chiles; play around. Enjoy!!

                                                          1. re: mucho gordo
                                                            l
                                                            LauraGrace Jun 19, 2012 05:24 PM

                                                            There's a breakfast joint down the street from me that does a "grits of the day" -- chorizo and caramelized onion and some kind of cheese is one of them, jalapeno and cheddar another. I've had the bacon and chive ones that were pretty darn good, but I like my grits plain with fried apples on top (like at Cracker Barrel) or cheesy with a runny fried egg on top.

                                                            1. re: LauraGrace
                                                              suzigirl Jun 19, 2012 05:43 PM

                                                              Yummy to all but the fried apples, but I won't say a difinative no. Will not knock til I try it.

                                                        2. re: mucho gordo
                                                          paulj Jun 16, 2012 02:35 PM

                                                          Haven't had polenta?

                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                            mucho gordo Jun 16, 2012 02:54 PM

                                                            Not really, I haven't been to any place that served it. Same with risotto which, in my mind, is just rice in a sauce. Looking forward to trying both. It's just grits that don't appeal for some reason.

                                                            1. re: mucho gordo
                                                              suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 03:11 PM

                                                              Risotto= 15 $ crunchy rice in a creamy sauce. Not a big fan.

                                                              1. re: suzigirl
                                                                i
                                                                Isolda Jun 19, 2012 08:01 AM

                                                                You might like my risotto, then. I make it all wrong, allowing the rice to cook to tenderness and absorbing the sauce, so it's very thick. I sometimes mix it with eggs, chopped broccoli and more cheese, and bake it into a cake.

                                                                1. re: Isolda
                                                                  suzigirl Jun 19, 2012 08:41 AM

                                                                  A maverick.... I like it! The Risotto cake sounds rule break enough to love.

                                                          2. re: mucho gordo
                                                            Bill Hunt Jul 3, 2012 10:10 PM

                                                            Well, you have a basis on the concept.

                                                            Grits are hominy (corn soaked in lye to swell the kernels up), then dried, then ground. Depending on several aspects of the prep, they might taste only slightly of corn, but not much. Sort of like rice, and much depends on the next steps of the prep - say BBQ shrimp w/ gravy, atop the grits.

                                                            They are the same thing as polenta, though the traditional preps might lead many to think otherwise. Same product, produced in the same exact way - but when the name changes, so often does the prep - hence the confusion.

                                                            Enjoy,

                                                            Hunt

                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                              paulj Jul 3, 2012 10:56 PM

                                                              I am still seeking a reliable source for the claim that 'hominy grits' are the same as 'ground hominy'. In other words, who uses lye in the preparation of their grits?
                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3756...

                                                              1. re: paulj
                                                                Bill Hunt Jul 5, 2012 07:08 PM

                                                                Paulj,

                                                                Grits start out with corn. The corn is soaked in lye, to create what is usually called hominy. Those enlarged kernels are then dried, and finally ground into grits (or similar products).

                                                                Few cooks start with the corn kernels, and few use a lye bath, just as few have a mill, to grind the dried hominy. It is usually after those steps, including the grinding, that most encounter the final product.

                                                                It's kind of like foie gras - few raise the geese, or ducks. Few force-feed them. Few slaughter the fowl, for their livers (and other parts), but then they purchase foie gras for various preps.

                                                                Maybe contact Anson Mills for every step in their process?

                                                                Good luck, and enjoy,

                                                                Hunt

                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                  paulj Jul 6, 2012 06:59 PM

                                                                  http://www.ansonmills.com/recipes-corn-1.htm
                                                                  Anson mills on grits - history and cooking; one mention of processing corn with potash to make hominy (but nothing about grinding that hominy).

                                                                  http://www.sciway.net/sn/49.html#7
                                                                  describes stone grinding in a grist mill

                                                                  "Hominy is produced by soaking dried corn kernels in lye water, a corrosive (and poisonous!) solution made with wood ashes. This process removes the outer shell of the kernel (hull) and the germ, which is the small "heart" inside of the kernel that contains most of the nutrients. Although hominy is sometimes dried and ground into grits, it is often sold canned. We'll take regular grits, thank you."

                                                                  http://www.sciway.net/sc-photos/chesterfield-county/blizzard-branch.html
                                                                  photos from Blizzard branch grist mill. Note the one about filtering or sifting the ground corn to get cornmeal and grits (coarse and fine).

                                                                  http://www.sallybernstein.com/food/co...

                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                    k
                                                                    kengk Jul 7, 2012 03:38 AM

                                                                    Paul, I have been researching this for the past few days. I can find no evidence that makes me believe that grits are, or ever were, commonly produced with nixtamalized corn (hominy) here in the South East U.S. It is always harder to prove a negative rather than a positive. In this case though, I think that if grits were commonly produced with hominy there would be discussion of the processing. There is none to be found.

                                                                    Think about this, the hominy making would be a more involved process, requiring more resources, than the simple grinding of corn.. How would there be no mention of this?

                                                                    I think the whole confusion arises out of the term "hominy corn" which I think simply refers to a white corn with big kernels that folks would have grown for human consumption as meal and grits and sometimes as hominy. The hominy being produced to have a different foodstuff. This as opposed to the yellow dent corn grown for animal feed.

                                                                    I am speaking of grits on a local level, who knows what kind of processing Quaker, Jim Dandy etc. undergo.

                                                                    Yesterday I sent a letter to my acquaintance that runs a mill. It has been in his family for seven generations and I know him to be a history buff. If he replies I will start another thread.

                                                                    1. re: kengk
                                                                      k
                                                                      kengk Aug 2, 2012 02:02 PM

                                                                      Took another stab at this today and found this description of large scale corn milling. The only product they specify as coming from a nixtimalization process is masa flour.

                                                                      http://www.namamillers.org/ci_product...

                                                                      1. re: kengk
                                                                        paulj Aug 2, 2012 02:51 PM

                                                                        Looks like the key term is 'tempering degerming process'. This is a dry alternative to the wet alkaline cooking (nixtimalization). A 'degerminator' removes most of the germ and the pericarp (hull).

                                                                        The largest grit coming out of this process is flattened into corn flakes. It can be further broken and sifted, producing brewers grits and table grits.

                                                                        In effect a mechanical means is used to remove the hull, as opposed to the wet chemical means.

                                                                        One reference says that the favorite corn for this dry milling is '#2 yellow dent corn'. It also says that the use of 'hominy' in names like hominy feed and hominy grits is a carry over from the old days (including an old Indian term for a mix ground corn and water), but does not imply nixtimalization.

                                                                        http://books.google.com/books?id=E59x...

                                                                        These sources pretty well confirm that if the corn is not clearly identified as stone ground (ground from the whole kernel), or as nixtimalized (masa as used in Mexico), it has been dry milled. This is doubly true is it is described as 'degerminated'.

                                                            2. re: mucho gordo
                                                              q
                                                              Querencia Jul 4, 2012 04:36 PM

                                                              Grits are coarser than Cream of Wheat and have a strong corn flavor. Now here's a bit of trivia that I picked up once in some course or other: "grits" and "grist" are actually the same word, it's just that the two consonants got twisted around. So all they literally are is grist, or ground, corn. They do something to the corn to make it white, otherwise the result is coarse yellow cornmeal.

                                                              1. re: Querencia
                                                                paulj Jul 4, 2012 05:14 PM

                                                                BobsRedMill sells barley grits/meal, soy grits, millet grits, and white corn grits. I've also seen rye grits, though BRM calls their's cracked rye. But for some reason the same grind of wheat is called cracked wheat, and for oats, steel cut.

                                                            3. w
                                                              wyogal Jun 16, 2012 11:37 AM

                                                              I hate grits, but love polenta. No, they are not the same thing.
                                                              We were at Cracker Barrel in VA last week, I told the waitress to hold the grits. She then looked at my husband and said, "You'll have her's, then?" My husband said "No." She gave us a really weird look.

                                                              12 Replies
                                                              1. re: wyogal
                                                                f
                                                                Fromageball Jun 16, 2012 02:44 PM

                                                                Even though I grew up in NC I never tried grits until I was ~25 and it was at Cracker Barrel. Ick... I made grit cakes myself later on and liked those, but I think I would try grits again either at a restaurant where they are widely considered to be good or homemade.

                                                                1. re: Fromageball
                                                                  suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 02:52 PM

                                                                  My bf was born in England but spent some time growing up in the Carolina's and had also never had grits. On a Saturday morning I made them for breakfast and the said what is this stuff? His mom made British style food so he hadn't tried them. I was surprised that some friend hadn't ever introduced them to him at a sleepover or something like that. Needless to say, he is not a fan.

                                                                  1. re: suzigirl
                                                                    mamachef Jun 16, 2012 03:52 PM

                                                                    suzigirl, I'd never even heard of grits in my whole entire tender 9-year old life when I was invited to a friend's sleepover. In the morning, her father invited us all into the kitchen, which had an island and there were several buffet style dishes on it, of which one was grits and butter. I took some to be polite and didn't really have any feelings about it because it looked to me like an innocuous paste at worst. Then I ate some. And suddenly I understood what the fuss was about. it was an epiphany, and thank you forever Mr. Dawson.

                                                                    1. re: mamachef
                                                                      suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 04:09 PM

                                                                      To bad there was no Mr Dawson in my bf's life. I could dirty less pans on Sunday. That's okay.my sweetie is such a good guy, I would dirty every pot and pan for the darling.that being said my parents always served us bowls of grits while they had grits fried eggs and breakfast meat when we we're little. I remember my dad scooping the grits straight into his eggs and chopping it all up. Being that we didn't get that it looked like heaven. Finally we were either old enough or more likely had enough money that we were allowed the meat a d egg portion of the meal. That is why it has almost become ritualistic to have them together. It was like joining the grown ups table at thanksgiving. I have arrived!

                                                                2. re: wyogal
                                                                  Bill Hunt Jul 3, 2012 10:03 PM

                                                                  Well, if you mean that they are both corn, soaked in lye, and then ground, into a meal, "not the same thing," I hear you. However, if you mean "corn soaked in lye, and then ground," for both, then I am confused. Do you mean that there is a difference between "corn soaked in lye, and then ground," or something more esoteric, like the corn coming from the Deep South, or the Midwest vs coming from maybe Romania?

                                                                  Sorry for my confusion here.

                                                                  Hunt

                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                    c
                                                                    Chowrin Aug 1, 2012 06:28 PM

                                                                    Is polenta made with dent corn?

                                                                    1. re: Chowrin
                                                                      paulj Aug 1, 2012 06:56 PM

                                                                      I've read that Italians prefer flint corn. I'm not sure if that is just because that was the type that was first brought to Italy, or whether there is some special quality. And supposedly the American South prefers dent. Anson Mills, I believe, makes a bit deal about using an heirloom type of dent.

                                                                      But I don't know whether I'd be able to distinguish between the two, especially when made into a porridge. Or distinguish between them and the corn that major US millers process.

                                                                      I've also read that the flint/dent distinction is not widely used among modern agronomists.

                                                                    2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                      w
                                                                      wyogal Aug 1, 2012 06:56 PM

                                                                      Just saw this... meaning, the grits I've had are white, and made from hominy (or like hominy), ground, which is not the same as regular yellow cornmeal, which is what I use for polenta. I don't know if people call both of the products "grits," but to me they are vastly different.

                                                                      1. re: wyogal
                                                                        paulj Aug 1, 2012 07:03 PM

                                                                        How do you know that your grits are made from hominy? Does the package say 'hominy grits' or 'grits made from hominy'? Or does the package and/or miller describe the process?

                                                                        I'm still collecting evidence on the grits - hominy link.

                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                          c
                                                                          Chowrin Aug 1, 2012 07:07 PM

                                                                          I hear america cooking (the cookbook) had a splendid rant on exactly what hominy grits were about. try google?

                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                            w
                                                                            wyogal Aug 1, 2012 07:08 PM

                                                                            I didn't see the package. I hate hominy, and thought the white stuff was a hominy grit. Here's a search:
                                                                            https://www.google.com/search?q=white...
                                                                            I am under the impression that the grits at Cracker Barrel are hominy grits.

                                                                      2. re: wyogal
                                                                        Bill Hunt Jul 3, 2012 10:15 PM

                                                                        That is akin to saying, "I tried a hamburger once, at McDonald's, and I will never eat any hamburger again."

                                                                        I would not rule out anything, if I had only tasted it at Cracker Barrel.

                                                                        Hunt

                                                                      3. Uncle Bob Jun 16, 2012 11:49 AM

                                                                        Love em....anyway you cook em.....Hot, Cold, Fried....Hominy or Stone Ground ~~~ Just don't try to pass off any Instant (Wallpaper paste, school glue) grits for the real deal. ~ Sick!! ~~~~~ Bet ya can't eat just one!!

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Uncle Bob
                                                                          h
                                                                          hazelhurst Jun 16, 2012 12:07 PM

                                                                          Instant "grits" is an abomination on the face of the planet, as vile a work as any of Torquemada's offerings. "Quick grits" is not much better.

                                                                          The real deal is sublime. Obviously, the red-eye gravy version is the favorite in areas that can get the needed ham. I love cheese grits souffle from MArjorie Kinnan Rawling's "Cross Creek Cookery." And New Orleans Grits and Grillades stands with the dry martini as one of the noblest works of Man.

                                                                          I hold it is the same as polenta. Pedants will point out processing differences but it is basically the same. The difference between Aoili Parmesan Polenta and garlic cheese grits is $15.00 on the menu. I like to pour the unused portion, if any, into aluminum biscuit molds and refrigerate. Pull out a little hockey puck or two the next ay and sautee in your best butter.

                                                                          1. re: hazelhurst
                                                                            mamachef Jun 16, 2012 06:42 PM

                                                                            "an abomination on the face of the planet." Haaaaaaaahahahaha! I totally agree. I was in a store and saw instant grits in all different "flavors," and I could distinctly hear the pounding hooves of the four horsemen of the apocalypse in the distance, coming closer....

                                                                            1. re: hazelhurst
                                                                              r
                                                                              racer x Jul 1, 2012 01:12 AM

                                                                              I agree that instant grits are an abomination. So nasty.
                                                                              If that had been the only kind of grits I'd ever had, I'd never have eaten them again.

                                                                              1. re: hazelhurst
                                                                                Bill Hunt Jul 3, 2012 10:17 PM

                                                                                "Instant grits," is like comparing all rice to "Uncle Ben's Microwave Rice."

                                                                                There are worlds of difference, and too few, ever experience those other "worlds." Hey, that means more for me.

                                                                                Hunt

                                                                              2. re: Uncle Bob
                                                                                mamachef Jun 16, 2012 06:40 PM

                                                                                Sure you right, Unca Bob.

                                                                              3. ipsedixit Jun 16, 2012 12:20 PM

                                                                                I like grits.

                                                                                Some sea salt, Sriracha, nori flakes and some cubed up Spam make for a wonderful bowl of grits.

                                                                                1. k
                                                                                  kengk Jun 16, 2012 12:28 PM

                                                                                  My favorite is with butter, salt and pepper, served with sausage patties or links, and cheese toast.

                                                                                  I don't care for instant grits but the "quick" grits are acceptable.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: kengk
                                                                                    l
                                                                                    LauraGrace Jun 19, 2012 05:26 PM

                                                                                    Quick grits are fine, instant are a crime against humanity. But even the "quick" ones I find need to be cooked MUCH longer than the package directs less you end up with sandy mush instead of lovely creamy deliciousness.

                                                                                  2. Caroline1 Jun 16, 2012 12:43 PM

                                                                                    I LOVE grits when they're the topping on a tamale pie. I love grits when they are polenta. And I HATE grits when they're just grits. Go figure.

                                                                                    1. bagelman01 Jun 16, 2012 01:38 PM

                                                                                      I love grits..................

                                                                                      with salt, pepper and maybe a touch of butter.

                                                                                      I don't like cheese grits or shrimp and grits or any added ingredients such as herbs.

                                                                                      I eat them in a separate dish from the eggs, usually as a first course, then the eggs, meat, toast or biscuits and coffee.

                                                                                      I especially don't like them sweet, as with syrup. I do like them refrigerated, cut into blocks and fried, then seasoned with salt and pepper.

                                                                                      I detest instant grits, I've run into packets of these in the breakfast room of some chain motels/hotels in the south.

                                                                                      I do like some lumps in my grits, makes for a change of texture in the bowl.

                                                                                      1. l
                                                                                        Leepa Jun 16, 2012 04:10 PM

                                                                                        Love. All forms...all permutations.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Leepa
                                                                                          Bill Hunt Jul 3, 2012 10:19 PM

                                                                                          I agree, so long as they are "real grits," and not something done in the microwave.

                                                                                          Anson Mills, as mentioned elsewhere, are good. So are the ones from College of the Ozarks.

                                                                                          Grits ain't grits, by any stretch.

                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                        2. arktos Jun 16, 2012 04:48 PM

                                                                                          I also love yellow grits cooked polenta-style with lots of butter and paprika and topped with sour cream and feta.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: arktos
                                                                                            mamachef Jun 16, 2012 05:01 PM

                                                                                            Oh, my, arktos: I've done something similar, but tossed in a handful of fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano and a handful of toasted walnuts. Heaven.

                                                                                          2. r
                                                                                            racer x Jun 16, 2012 04:50 PM

                                                                                            When eaten as breakfast food, I tend to like them best toward the drier side, with butter and salt.

                                                                                            However, a new favorite way to enjoy them is with chopped Nueske's bacon and Chinese chili oil sauce. That's good even after allowing the grits to sit in the refrigerator a day or two then adding in the bacon.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: racer x
                                                                                              mamachef Jun 16, 2012 05:02 PM

                                                                                              That's brilliant, the chili oil. And nothing can't be made mo' bettah w/ an application of Neuske's yummy smoky deliciousness.

                                                                                            2. f
                                                                                              foufou Jun 16, 2012 05:03 PM

                                                                                              Love grits as a savory breakfast dish with salt, black pepper, and salted butter; as well, any kind of breakfast pork including bacon or sausage and eggs over easy. I do not like grits cooked with cheese, chicken broth, or milk. In Chicago, when I was growing up, it was common for grits to be served with salmon croquettes (patties) and I enjoy that too. I would never order grits in a restaurant but I have had polenta in restaurants and they do not have the same texture.

                                                                                              1. Bacardi1 Jun 16, 2012 05:04 PM

                                                                                                I didn't have grits until moving to Virginia some 18 years ago. Had them with breakfast at - of all places - a "Friendly's" restaurant. Having frequently made "fried cornmeal mush" for breakfast (basically just cooked cornmeal allowed to cool & set overnight, then sliced up & fried in an obscene amount of butter), I liked the grits - but I did drizzle a bit of maple syrup over them.

                                                                                                These days, I prefer my grits with a goodly amount of cheese blended in. In fact, one of the very best meals I ever had since coming to VA was in a small local country-bistro type restaurant, & consisted of a rich luscious duck leg & piece of rabbit braised in a deep dark red-wine gravy along with tiny fresh baby carrots & turnips, served atop a bed of nice sharp-cheddar grits. It was heaven on a plate!!

                                                                                                1. jes7o Jun 16, 2012 05:18 PM

                                                                                                  Mmmmm...grits. I like them two ways: classic, salted and peppered with butter and cheesy, spiced with Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning. Divine.

                                                                                                  I think those who don't like grits usually have their first grit experience eating poorly cooked grits. You can't have "instant" grits. You can't order them from Denny's. They HAVE to be properly salted. There is nothing more disgusting than unsalted grits. They can't be too runny or overcooked. They have to have grit. They deserve real butter and real cheese. These are the basic rules of yummy grits.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: jes7o
                                                                                                    suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 05:50 PM

                                                                                                    I am on the same page. If they aren't properly salted in the cooking process, you cannot salt them enough after. And like I said I said in my first post, like you I don't want soup or ice cream scoopable. Fork worthy without dripping through is perfect.

                                                                                                  2. LaLa Jun 16, 2012 05:49 PM

                                                                                                    Love me some Anson Mills Grits but the big bowl of Geechie Boy Grits I had this morning were to die for!

                                                                                                    1. l
                                                                                                      Logrus9 Jun 17, 2012 01:00 PM

                                                                                                      I love to cook them and when almost finished whisk in a couple of eggs, it really adds to the richness.

                                                                                                      1. jinet12 Jun 17, 2012 11:35 PM

                                                                                                        Used to hate them untI I vIsited South Carolina and
                                                                                                        had shrimp and grits at Magnolias and had the BBQ shrimp
                                                                                                        over cheesy grits at 82 Queen. Phenomenal

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: jinet12
                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                          fourunder Jun 18, 2012 09:02 AM

                                                                                                          You should try the Maverick Grits @ SNOB for the Trifecta/Hat Trick

                                                                                                        2. tcamp Jun 18, 2012 06:35 PM

                                                                                                          Love them stone ground, slow cooked with cheese or with shrimp and doused with something hot (sauce, pepper flakes, etc.). I'm not a southerner so I never want them for breakfast. Love to serve them with pot roast or crispy salmon or....lots of things. Very sad that I just finished my sack of grits purchased from the Charleston, SC, farmers market.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: tcamp
                                                                                                            suzigirl Jun 19, 2012 08:44 AM

                                                                                                            The stone ground are the best. I have my parents get me some every time they go to Georgia. Yummmmmm.

                                                                                                          2. i
                                                                                                            Isolda Jun 19, 2012 08:05 AM

                                                                                                            My parents are southerners and so I grew up eating grits, with chopped crisp bacon mixed in. My favorite is shrimp and grits, though. On a 5 day trip to Charleston last year, I ordered it 5 times and still wasn't tired of it..

                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Isolda
                                                                                                              suzigirl Jun 19, 2012 08:45 AM

                                                                                                              Bacon makes everything better, right?

                                                                                                              1. re: Isolda
                                                                                                                mamachef Jun 19, 2012 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                I can totally understand that, Isolda. I had the same love a affair with a cheese grits/fried green tomato/shrimp "stack" that I ate at a restaurant in LA, but unfortunately we were only at that particular place for a day, or I'd have eaten it for every meal.

                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                  suzigirl Jun 19, 2012 09:22 AM

                                                                                                                  Anything with fried green tomatoes is aces in my book. After all, I am southern. We like it all fried.

                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                    mamachef Jun 19, 2012 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                    I keep saying that my OH birth and parentage should qualify me as a Southerner. Any takers? Could I be a part of some honorary group? But I feel the same way about the fgt, suzigirl. And if you could have tasted these in their glory, touched with just a bit of the shrimp's garlicky butter....wow. I've made them at home many times and they're delicious, but they just don't quite match up.

                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                      suzigirl Jun 19, 2012 10:35 AM

                                                                                                                      You are welcome in with all the southern hospitality in my heart. You don't have to be from the south to have the south in your heart. Its more of a state of mind. I am sure lots of posters would agree.

                                                                                                                    2. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                                      Leepa Jun 19, 2012 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                      Fried green tomatoes with a garnish of fried okra..... oh, heaven!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                        suzigirl Jun 19, 2012 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                        Fried green tomatoes, fried okra, fried pickles, fried squash blossoms with a side of ranch. And a side of lipator....yum.

                                                                                                                    3. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                                      Leepa Jun 19, 2012 03:41 PM

                                                                                                                      I assume by LA you mean Lower Alabama? :D

                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                        k
                                                                                                                        kengk Jun 19, 2012 03:45 PM

                                                                                                                        Fried green tomato BLTs are very popular around here (no doubt meaning they are passe elsewhere) but they are quite tasty.

                                                                                                                        1. re: kengk
                                                                                                                          suzigirl Jun 19, 2012 05:12 PM

                                                                                                                          Those sound amazing. I have seen them on TV, but have yet to attempt them. Guess what is on my lunch menu this weekend? SWEET.

                                                                                                                    4. i
                                                                                                                      INDIANRIVERFL Jun 19, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                      Grits, polenta, or mush all remind me of the same thing when unadorned. Library paste.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                                                                                                        paulj Jun 19, 2012 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                        You liked eating that too! :)

                                                                                                                      2. EarlyBird Jun 19, 2012 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                        Suzigirl,

                                                                                                                        Grits have to be the exact texture as you describe them. I like mine with a bit of cheese, and done with shrimp, as in low country shrimp 'n' grits.

                                                                                                                        Oh. They need to be savory. Can't stand any sweetness to grits.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: EarlyBird
                                                                                                                          suzigirl Jun 19, 2012 05:08 PM

                                                                                                                          They do need to be savory to me also. I am not knocking people who like them with butter sugar and cream or brown sugar and cinnamon. Just not my bag.

                                                                                                                        2. katz66 Jun 29, 2012 04:41 AM

                                                                                                                          As a northerner hooked on grits I Ike them in a bowl with hot sauce and ketchup on them for breakfast. Please don't mess it up with an egg of any kind. Butter is ok cheese I can have that with the evening grits.

                                                                                                                          1. h
                                                                                                                            Harters Jun 29, 2012 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                            You have to try new foods, particularly when you travel to a foreign country. So, on a trip to America some years back, I tried grits. I've absolutely no need to repeat the experience.

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                              h
                                                                                                                              hazelhurst Jun 29, 2012 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                              That's a shame. You might want to avoid boiled peanuts, which one is either pro or violently against, and cajun z'andouille (chitlins).

                                                                                                                              1. re: hazelhurst
                                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                                Harters Jun 29, 2012 03:26 PM

                                                                                                                                Boiled peanuts, I like.

                                                                                                                                Not had cajun andouille. Have had French andouillette which may be similar - perhaps the vilest thing I have ever putr in my mouth.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                  r
                                                                                                                                  racer x Jul 1, 2012 01:10 AM

                                                                                                                                  I've experienced unpalatable renditions of grits in diners and hotel restaurants in the US.
                                                                                                                                  While it's quite possible you simply don't care for grits, if you've only had them once, you may have just gotten a bad version.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                Bacardi1 Jul 1, 2012 11:00 AM

                                                                                                                                But at least you tried them. I have no problem with folks who try something new & don't like it. What rubs me the wrong way are people who claim to hate something they've never even bothered to taste - just hate it because of the way it looks or sounds. That's both juvenile & unfair.

                                                                                                                              3. k
                                                                                                                                kseiverd Jun 29, 2012 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                Grew up in SE corner of PA... not exactly gritsville?? Never knew they existed until a "Clark Griswald" road trip to Florida in early-mid 60's... before there were any theme parks... in a big green Ford station wagon... wit NO AC!! When we stopped to eat at little diners or mom/pop places... grits were definitely on the menu. My brother(maybe 10 at the time) put on a "cute" southern accent that CHARMED the waitresses.

                                                                                                                                Thought NOT something I'd usually make... NO quick-grits for me!

                                                                                                                                Several years ago, encountered the Italian version... polenta. Went to cousin's husband b-day party for his traditional request. His mom had one son manning the pot with the "gravy" and a SIL manning the polenta with the "stick". When everything was ready, out came the polenta "boards"!?! Into center of board went big pile of steaming polenta. On top went generous serving of gravy... chicken, pork, beef included. It was a FUN communal meal... ya kinda picked your territory and had at it.

                                                                                                                                1. dave_c Jun 29, 2012 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                                  Grits (ground hominy) is very, very low on my list of foods I like. I do like cheese grits, shrimp and grits. As a breakfast item, I'd pass.

                                                                                                                                  However, ground corn (polenta, cornmeal mush...) I do like.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                                                    paulj Jun 29, 2012 04:37 PM

                                                                                                                                    Despite the name, hominy grits are not ground hominy. Ground hominy is masa, used to make tortillas. See the other 'grits' thread for details.

                                                                                                                                  2. f
                                                                                                                                    FriedClamFanatic Jun 29, 2012 08:22 PM

                                                                                                                                    Wow....look at all the posts! Folks do feel strongly.

                                                                                                                                    Just a little story..........My Grandfather spent part of his youth in N. Carolina. We always had Grits at Thanksgiving. After he passed away, my Mother insisted on keeping up the tradition - but she was the only one that ever ate them. After SHE passed away, my sister argued vehemntly that we still had to have them. I happened to host that year and in the 4 children of my mother, assorted "escorts" and kids.........NOBODY wanted any. Needless to say I vowed no more GRITS at Thanksgiving! Got somedirty looks from my sister, but a Grit has not Graced a Turkey table in anyone's house since.

                                                                                                                                    1. a
                                                                                                                                      aynrandgirl Jul 1, 2012 02:14 AM

                                                                                                                                      I think grits are horrible, though admittedly the only place I've eaten them is Waffle House.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: aynrandgirl
                                                                                                                                        suzigirl Jul 1, 2012 11:01 AM

                                                                                                                                        Respectfully, that would be the reason you don't like them. Awful House is good for two things..... drunk food and hangover food. Do try them at a nice diner in your area. You may like them.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                                          mamachef Jul 1, 2012 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                                          Word from my mother: "I don't believe in grits." WTF?
                                                                                                                                          Maybe not, Ma, but grits believe in YOU.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                            suzigirl Jul 1, 2012 02:03 PM

                                                                                                                                            I believe in grits. I even think I will like them other ways that were mentioned here. Especially your fried green tomato dish. Wait til my new tomatoes are in and going green. Yum.

                                                                                                                                      2. paulj Jul 1, 2012 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                        Why do we eat corn porridge with butter, cheese, and fried eggs, but not cream and sugar? Why do we eat oat and wheat porridge sweet, but not savory? What is different about cut and rolled oats, and cracked wheat?

                                                                                                                                        13 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                          k
                                                                                                                                          kengk Jul 1, 2012 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                          For my part I don't like sweet porridge. I might like oatmeal if it was savory instead of sweet.... nah, it's slimy. : )

                                                                                                                                          I have actually pondered aloud, with my wife, about trying some cream of wheat.

                                                                                                                                          I bet somebody could make a nice dessert with sweetened grits. Probably already have.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: kengk
                                                                                                                                            paulj Jul 1, 2012 03:05 PM

                                                                                                                                            I have made a spoon bread with left over grits.

                                                                                                                                            Italians have sweetened 'polenta' dishes.

                                                                                                                                            Indian pudding is a classic New England sweet corn pudding.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                              mucho gordo Jul 5, 2012 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                                              But, Indian pudding is not made with grits, is it? I believe it's made with corn meal.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mucho gordo
                                                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                                                kengk Jul 5, 2012 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                According to many, the only difference between grits and cornmeal is the grind. Grits would generally be coarser and meal finer. Could well be overlap between fine grits and coarse meal.

                                                                                                                                                Maybe this is the time to show off a picture of the pain de' grits I made one Thanksgiving when we were home sick and I was trying to entertain myself. Soaked stone ground grits over night and made my version of Anadama bread.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: kengk
                                                                                                                                                  k
                                                                                                                                                  kengk Jul 5, 2012 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Forgot the pic. I really wish somebody (named paulj) would get to the bottom of how common "grocery store" grits were made.

                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kengk
                                                                                                                                                    Bacardi1 Jul 6, 2012 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                    As Bill Hunt stated - the grind is definitely not the only difference between grits & cornmeal. "Grits" are corn kernels treated in a lye bath before being dried & ground. "Cornmeal" is just dried & ground corn kernels.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bacardi1
                                                                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                                                                      kengk Jul 6, 2012 07:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Some grits may be treated with lye but some are not. I've seen them produced with my own two eyes.

                                                                                                                                                      I think you will have a hard time finding "artisinal" fancy stone ground grits that are treated with lye. Anson Mills grits are not.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kengk
                                                                                                                                                        Bill Hunt Jul 6, 2012 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Well, it will depend on exactly which Anson Mills grits, you are referring to. Some are, but some are not. Which ones, in particular, are you talking about?

                                                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                          paulj Jul 6, 2012 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                          http://www.ansonmills.com/grits.htm
                                                                                                                                                          This page does talk about 'hominy corn'

                                                                                                                                                          Henry Moore Yellow Hominy Corn
                                                                                                                                                          Henry Moore Yellow Hominy Corn is an authentic South Carolina–grown hominy corn bred over 150 years ago. (Classic hominy corns have big, round kernels.) Regular milling leaves Henry Moore cold, so we treat this old heirloom the way it likes to be treated: Before harvesting, we let the corn dry on the stalks in the field, and then crib it up for a time thereafter so winter drafts can perform their final subtle drying of each kernel. This slow process develops lovely flavor characteristics that turn brilliantly complex and satisfying with cooking. We’ve worked with dozens of hominy corns but, in our opinion, Henry Moore is the best.

                                                                                                                                                          But as I read that, it is corn that can be treated with their culinary lime, but they don't say that they use treated corn to make their Hominy Quick Grits.

                                                                                                                                                          So who is reading between the lines?

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mucho gordo
                                                                                                                                                    Bill Hunt Jul 5, 2012 07:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                    OK, grits are corn kernels, soaked in lye water, to cause them to swell. Those kernels are dried and ground.

                                                                                                                                                    With "corn meal," the kernels are usually dried (no lye bath included), then ground.

                                                                                                                                                    Very, very similar.

                                                                                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                                                                              2. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                paulj Jul 4, 2012 10:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                I just made some cream of wheat, using directions from the box. When I tasted it, I thought, 'this tastes too salty'. The suggested salt level must be a bit higher than what I'm used to (this was a Trader Joes box). But I also thought - 'this might work in a savory application, like grits'. On the other hand, I can also easily detect when salt has been omitted (same with oatmeal).

                                                                                                                                                How we salt starches like this makes a big difference in how think of using them. But there is also a strong cultural component. I once had corn meal mush prepared (and served) West African style - it was distinctly under salted by my standards. Asian rice is often undersalted to the Western palate. And a lot of people don't like the unsalted Tuscan style of bread.

                                                                                                                                                If you grew up with grits, you have strong preferences about how to season them. If you are new them, you probably judge their taste against other starches or porridges, depending on how it is served (whether rice, mashed potatoes, oatmeal or cream of wheat).

                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                  w
                                                                                                                                                  wyogal Jul 4, 2012 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Can't stand cream of wheat. I puked it up in my bowl as a kid and you couldn't tell the difference between the stuff in the bowl and the stuff I puked up.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: wyogal
                                                                                                                                                    Bill Hunt Jul 5, 2012 07:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Uh-oh! That is bad.

                                                                                                                                                    Now, long past being a kid, but I still enjoy Cream of Wheat, and especially with half-n-half, a bit of cinnamon and some raw sugar.

                                                                                                                                                    Different strokes...

                                                                                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                                                                              3. f
                                                                                                                                                Florida Hound Jul 1, 2012 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                How about a restaurant that served different styles of grits on 2 consecutive days for breakfast - very confusing to the customer who loved them one day and sent them back the next. A restaurant in the Nantahala Forest area NC, a few miles south of the Smokey Mountains, was about to turn my wife from a grits hater to a grits lover. She thought the grits on my plate smelled so good one morning, she ordered some and loved them. (Shock!) But the next day, she ordered grits again, and that day's product confirmed she should not bother.
                                                                                                                                                The difference:
                                                                                                                                                Day 1: the chef used yellow grits, and the liquid included chicken broth. The amount of liquid was limited so it nicely "held together. 'Firm.' "(spouse' description) My wife loved having "stuffing" with her breakfast.
                                                                                                                                                Day 2: Their kitchen was back to white grits, made up in plain ol' water, and too much of it, to boot, so they were runny, bland, tasteless.
                                                                                                                                                The restaurant blamed their supplier and seemed to have a "whatever we get in, we use" kind of response when we asked about it on day 2.
                                                                                                                                                We now have a bag of yellow grits, from a mill outside Helen, Georgia, waiting for an adventuresome Saturday morning when we do some experimenting with chicken stock or chicken broth. That mill, BTW, has an article on the wall saying there really is no difference between yellow grits and white grits.

                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Florida Hound
                                                                                                                                                  jmcarthur8 Jul 1, 2012 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                  FH, try cooking those stone ground grits in the crockpot overnight so they're ready for your Saturday breakfast. Otherwise, the best way is low and slow for a couple hours, and who wants to get up that early on the weekend?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jmcarthur8
                                                                                                                                                    katz66 Jul 2, 2012 02:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Love grits and never thought of a slowcooker. Thanks will try that.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jmcarthur8
                                                                                                                                                      f
                                                                                                                                                      Florida Hound Jul 2, 2012 03:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Great idea! We frequently do an overnight crockpot steel cut oats oatmeal recipe. But we probably would not have thought of it for grits without your post. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Florida Hound
                                                                                                                                                        f
                                                                                                                                                        Florida Hound Jul 7, 2012 04:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                        OVERNIGHT GRITS REPORT: jmcarthur8's excellent suggestion re: overnight grits got us experimenting... The results on our Saturday morning breakfast plates were tasty but we will keep tweeking it. The standard overnight grits recipe on-line calls for 5 cups liquid in the crock pot to 1 cup grits. Our liquid of choice was chicken broth and it gave a wonderful flavor. But it was still too liquidy for my wife. She's looking for a batch that can be scooped like a scoop of ice cream. The next-day left-overs will probably be a little bit thicker. I added sage to the recipe, since my wife wanted it to remind her of stuffing. I will increase that or try poultry seasoning on our next overnight try.
                                                                                                                                                        We are on our way, jmcarthur, its delicious. Thanks again for the tip.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jmcarthur8
                                                                                                                                                        mamachef Jul 2, 2012 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Brills, jmacarthur8. Who'd a thunk it? Not me, for sure. Will try.

                                                                                                                                                    2. tcamp Jul 1, 2012 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Good quality grits, prepared thoughtfully, are so very different from the crappy white grits (perhaps instant) cooked in water and served at Waffle House and its ilk. My son is used to my grits - stone ground, slow cooked with butter, S&P, cheese added at the end - and he loves them. He spent the weekend with his grandpa and had grits at the retirement community dining hall. He reported they absolutely sucked, had no taste whatsoever and were gluey in consistency. I guess he's developing a palate?

                                                                                                                                                      1. p
                                                                                                                                                        Purrkins Jul 2, 2012 10:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Lordy, Lordy!. I'm a Texas boy, and was raised on grits - buttered, baconed, egged. Granddad liked it sweet occasionally. Grits am good! Now, that being said, there are some grits that just aren't worth eating - the runny, undersalted, tasteless ones, and the instant. And those in a whole lotta places that should have never allowed grits to darken their kitchen. I'm trying to be polite here, so I will just say, 'BLEEAAAHHH!!" and let it go.

                                                                                                                                                        Now, I make a jalapeno, garlic, pimiento, cheese grits casserole that always comes back empty. Do like me some grits.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Purrkins
                                                                                                                                                          jmcarthur8 Jul 2, 2012 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                          "Now, I make a jalapeno, garlic, pimiento, cheese grits casserole that always comes back empty"

                                                                                                                                                          Oh! I love the sound of that! It's on my list now.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Purrkins
                                                                                                                                                            Bacardi1 Jul 3, 2012 06:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                            That sounds wonderful!! Would you be willing to part with the recipe? :)

                                                                                                                                                          2. Caroline1 Jul 3, 2012 05:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Several here have suggested that it's unfair to make a decision on how "good" a food is unless you've given it a fair trial. Okay. I do know I HAVE had grits in the past. Despite that, I have absolutely no memory of any flavor. So I thought, Okay, put up or shut up. I read several recipes on the web ranging from shrimp and grits to cheese grits. Alton Brown recommends a mixture of half water, half milk for maximum creaminess. The Quaker round box mine come in recommends mixing them with one quarter of the liquid and then introducing that into the boiling milk/water mixture. So that's what I did. Reduced the heat and stirred for the recommended time to done. Blended in salt, butter, cheese, and bacon. Plated and topped it with a sunny side up egg. Did I love it? No. Did I hate it? No. Will I ever make it again? No. Well, not unless I have a house guest from the South who begs really really well. But overall, I'm glad I made it at least once. And my god, it certainly is filling! If you have a hungry horde to feed, grits is your answer

                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                                                                              kengk Jul 3, 2012 07:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I know that many will disagree but I think they are better without the cheese and with the meat on the side. Consider trying them one more time with just butter, salt and pepper. Grits need a lot of salt, imo. I do think that cheese toast made with french bread and sharp cheddar goes exceptionally well with grits.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                                jmcarthur8 Jul 3, 2012 08:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Only thing I can say, Miss Caroline (which by the way, I love your posts!), is that if you had tried yellow stone ground grits from a mill in the South, rather than Quaker from a canister, you most likely would have been a little bit more impressed. Maybe you'd still not be loving it, but the flavor and texture are so wildly different than the Quaker stuff, you'd at least have a better idea of what the buzz is about.

                                                                                                                                                                I have not, absolutely not, been a grits lover myself. That is, until we jazzed up the stone ground just like you've done - and now I actually have a craving now and then for grits. I won't insist that you go track down the good stuff, and do the experiment all over, but this is one of those foods that you just have to have the right stuff to get the right effect. Kind of like the difference between a bowl of steel cut Irish oats, and a packet of Quaker Instant. Yeah, you've had oatmeal, but have you *really* had oatmeal until you've had a bowlful of good chewy deliciousness?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jmcarthur8
                                                                                                                                                                  Caroline1 Jul 3, 2012 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Aw, thanks, jm! And I do fully understand the concept of "making it better" with tastier ingredients, and I endorse that thinking. But.... '-) When I can have a nice bowl of Rice Krispies instead, why bother? '-)

                                                                                                                                                                  But I did just slice a lovely Valencia orange, pepper it with brown sugar and bruleed it with my kitchen torch. Now THAT is tasty stuff! hmmmm... Bruleed grits? hmmm... Probably not.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jmcarthur8
                                                                                                                                                                    paulj Jul 3, 2012 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure she's had the yellow stone ground corn - probably with a tomato sauce and parm.

                                                                                                                                                                2. mamachef Jul 3, 2012 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Grits. It's what's for breakfast, yessireebob, with med. eggs over, and crunchy bacon and extra butter and coarse pepper and kosher salt and.....
                                                                                                                                                                  this is your fault.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                    Uncle Bob Jul 5, 2012 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Were ya callin me to breakfast Mama???

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Bill Hunt Jul 3, 2012 09:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Ah, grits!

                                                                                                                                                                    Well, being a "son of the Deep South," I grew up with grits, and prepared dozens of ways.

                                                                                                                                                                    We love good, stone-ground grits, and pay premium prices to have them on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                    However, I have had too many horrible grits dishes, that I would NEVER say that it was the ultimate dish. It is not. However, when done correctly, with the right additions, it is a dish to behold, and enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                    Ralph's on the Park, New Orleans, does a "to-die-for" Shrimp and Grits.
                                                                                                                                                                    Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN, does many fabulous grits dishes, and for all meals.
                                                                                                                                                                    Emeril Lagasse has a great Shrimp and Grits at NOLA.
                                                                                                                                                                    My wife does some grits dishes, that are killer, when she can get the really, really good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                    Now, where I grew up, my grandfather had a "grit orchard," and the grit trees went to the horizon. [Grin]

                                                                                                                                                                    So I grew up on grits - the good, the great, and well, those "instant" things, that were inedible.

                                                                                                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                    14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                      steve h. Jul 3, 2012 10:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I buy into the Hunt grit epistle.
                                                                                                                                                                      Bad grits are, well, bad. Good grits, on the other hand, can be transcendent. Low Country shrimp and grits, coupled with libation of choice, make a smashing Sunday brunch.
                                                                                                                                                                      I'm a Yankee and I take pride in my grits.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                        katz66 Jul 4, 2012 04:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I totally agree. I make shrimp and grits and my sons love them and won't touch grits for breakfast. I make a grits and cheese sqare with butter and sour cream and they lve that. It's how you make them and the kind you use.
                                                                                                                                                                        The first time I had them was in the 70's while visiting a girlfriend Jonny Mae. She had her cook Mae Bell make them for us for breakfast. She ate them sweet. I did not like that. So I asked for katchup and it was love at first bite. I then added hot sauce. But having said all that Mae Bell spent the rest of the morning cleaning up the pot to do that again a few days later.
                                                                                                                                                                        I love grits. And I am a northerner.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                          Bill Hunt Jul 5, 2012 07:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          <<Low Country shrimp and grits, coupled with libation of choice, make a smashing Sunday brunch.>>

                                                                                                                                                                          Being a "son of the Deep South," I was late to "low-country" food, but when I discovered it, I was amazed. There were dishes, common to me, but with a great twist. Similar, but with a difference.

                                                                                                                                                                          Now, Chef Emeril Lagasse's "Shrimp and Grits<' at his NOLA restaurant, or Ralph Brennan's version at Ralph's on the Park (NOLA, the city), are great too - different, yet great!

                                                                                                                                                                          In the Smoky Mountains, Chef Joseph Lenn's version, is sort of an in-between, but great!

                                                                                                                                                                          Some of those differences might well come from the grits, but I think, more likely from the shrimp - S.C shrimp vs Gulf shrimp. Oh, then there is the sauce too.

                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                            steve h. Jul 5, 2012 07:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I think you have a point re: gulf shrimp vs. S.C. shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                            Polenta, on the other hand, is a different kettle of corn. I like mine creamy which means lots of fat (butter, cheese), lots of stirring and lots of time. Leftovers, if there are any, can be great.

                                                                                                                                                                            Whether it's polenta or grits, you get out of it only what you put into it. I gladly put in the extra time because it's really worth it. I'm hoping to be back in New Orleans in late October. If so, I'll give Brennan's place a shot. Thanks for the tip.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                              Bill Hunt Jul 5, 2012 09:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Steve,

                                                                                                                                                                              Well-stated. I care far less what one calls it, but mostly what one does with it.

                                                                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                                                                          LauraGrace Jul 4, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          The first time I ever had shrimp and grits, at a coastal Georgia wedding, was a revelation. I've seen people who swore they'd go to their graves despising the thought of grits gobble down a massive bowlful of shrimp and grits. GUH, so good. I want some right now. Like... NOW.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LauraGrace
                                                                                                                                                                            suzigirl Jul 4, 2012 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I have never tried shrimp and grits but all the talk here about them has me wanting to try them.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                                                                                              racer x Jul 6, 2012 10:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Me too, suzigirl! Me too!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: racer x
                                                                                                                                                                                suzigirl Jul 6, 2012 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                We need to get on it and report back with our findings. I am determined to get my bf to like grits. Maybe this will do it.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                                                                                  steve h. Jul 6, 2012 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here's a starter recipe. You'll refine stuff down the road as you get familiar with what works for you.
                                                                                                                                                                                  http://entertaining.about.com/od/reci...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                    suzigirl Jul 6, 2012 01:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks so much for the link. I am going to try it and give grits in a whole new perspective. Mmm

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                                                                                      steve h. Jul 6, 2012 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      It's a pretty good recipe. You may want to cook the grits a bit longer than recommended. Tasting and seasoning toward the end is important. Your favorite brunch libation will be an integral part of the equation. Please report back on this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                      --steve

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                        suzigirl Jul 6, 2012 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Good to know tweeking at the end helps. And the libation would certainly be my own coction. The fuzzy mimosa..... one shot peach schnapps, one shot orange juice, the rest of the flute filled with champagne. So good. Bet the sweet and citrus flavors would marry well with shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LauraGrace
                                                                                                                                                                              Bill Hunt Jul 5, 2012 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              You know, many of our friends made similar claims about gumbo, until they tasted my wife's seafood gumbo. Amazing how great food can cause people to "eat crow." I know that I have, and have even found some good wines to go with it - the "crow," I mean.

                                                                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Bill Hunt Jul 3, 2012 09:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            We do not serve scrambled eggs with out grits. Those are for tortillas, or alone. Our only eggs will be "over-easy," or not at all.

                                                                                                                                                                            Sweet, as a base, similar to rice, under a great seared fish, or with butter and pepper, we love them.

                                                                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                              suzigirl Jul 4, 2012 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I agree. The yolks must be runny. And a crisp slice of toast.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. iL Divo Jul 4, 2012 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              can take them or leave them, no preference.
                                                                                                                                                                              husband no
                                                                                                                                                                              son no
                                                                                                                                                                              I'm probably more nay than yay though.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. EWSflash Jul 4, 2012 07:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Didn't read through this thread, but I admit I love/hate grits. They need a ton of butter and salt, but when it's perfect, they're so good you will finish the whole plateful. I never had shrimp and grits, I'm sure there's a whole other world out there for grits people. I have a recipe for grits spoonbread that gets eaten up no matter how much I make. It includes cheese and green chiles. Awesome. Grits are like tofu, loved an hated. I love tofu, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                                                                  paulj Jul 4, 2012 09:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Isn't that bit like say I like mashed potatoes as long as they hold a big pool of gravy? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                    Caroline1 Jul 5, 2012 01:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    And what's wrong with that? '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                2. jmcarthur8 Jul 5, 2012 04:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Several people have mentioned that grits don't have much flavor, but when you get the good ones, they taste like Fritos without all the salt. Or like tortilla chips.
                                                                                                                                                                                  We get yellow stone-ground ones from our local CSA store here in West Georgia, or some small food shops when we are traveling around the South. I haven't had white grits in years, nor quick grits ever, as far as I know. I always imagine those tasting and feeling like cream of wheat, which I love, but that's not the flavor or texture I want in my grits.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jmcarthur8
                                                                                                                                                                                    katz66 Jul 5, 2012 04:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    so much talk about grits I had to make some for breakfast. buter and hot sauce on mine. Not what I make for summmer heatwave generally.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                    Chocolate_Penguins Jul 6, 2012 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree I like smooth grits too. I'm Filipino and i still like grits. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolate_Penguins
                                                                                                                                                                                      suzigirl Jul 6, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      You must be 'south' Filipino..... lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. f
                                                                                                                                                                                      FitMom4Life Jul 6, 2012 08:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      OMG....I love love LOVE grits. Did I mention that I love them? :-) My entire family loves them..what's not to like??

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. k
                                                                                                                                                                                        Kashmirgirl Jul 8, 2012 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I love them. I'll take them with salt, pepper, and sugar alone (although I will mix them with eggs, if I am in the mood.) I like them not too hard and definitely not runny.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. l
                                                                                                                                                                                          Leepa Jul 8, 2012 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Ohhh. Anyone put their favorite pimento cheese on top of grits?. Not cooked in, but on top. I think that would be a fabulous thing. Mixed together, but not completely. Gotta try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                                                                                            suzigirl Jul 9, 2012 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Now that sounds like grits gone wild. I may try that soon. Yum

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                                                                              Leepa Jul 9, 2012 05:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I haven't tried it yet, but I'll bet I will by the weekend!

                                                                                                                                                                                              Went out to dinner tonight and, since I had grits on the brain, ordered Shrimp and Grits. Mmmmm.....

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                                                                                                suzigirl Jul 9, 2012 06:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I have a feeling I will try this by weeks end. I have to try those two together. Sounds perfect together. And i have the best source for a pepperjack/cheddar pimento cheese that screams grits. I will for sure have it on my menu soon

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Terrie H. Jul 9, 2012 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I grew up in Maryland and grits weren't what I grew up with. The first time I recall eating them was at a cafeteria style place next to my work when I was about 26. I probably had them before that, but I remember these because they were so good and still live in my memory. Not too long after that I had a girls' weekend in Richmond and we went to Nathalie Dupree's restaurant and had her grits and greens, which was a revelation as to how great grits could be.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I've been a huge fan ever since and am trying a new cheesy okra and grits casserole idea this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Terrie H.
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                                                                                                                                                                                              Leepa Jul 9, 2012 05:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd love to try that okra and grits casserole recipe. Got a link? Those are two of my favorite things!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                                                                                                Terrie H. Jul 10, 2012 04:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Here is the link:

                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/baked...

                                                                                                                                                                                                I hope it's as good as it sounds - I'm trying it this week with some tweaks (more okra, for one).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Terrie H.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Leepa Jul 10, 2012 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                              staughton Jul 9, 2012 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm from technically below the Mason-Dixon line (Washington DC), but grits weren't so big here growing up. They've gotten much more popular since so many in America have decided to be more of a redneck than their great grandparents ever were, so I'm seeing them more now than when I was a kid. Still, I've got to say, I like them on the plain side--and, like you, served with breakfast food, especially those runny yoiks! I get a little grossed-out when they're all PaulaDeen'd up, cooked with cheese and bacon etc. To me, they should function the way white rice does in Asian food: plain, so I can mix in what I want from whatever else I'm eating, but still be able to have most of them plain. I've had them with Shrimp (a la Low Country) and they were good, but I really don't want to taste anything that resembles processed cheez-food floating around in them. And definitely nothing sweet. Honey/sugar/syrup?!? That seems like such a Yankee thing to do with grits, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: staughton
                                                                                                                                                                                                Bacardi1 Jul 10, 2012 07:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Lol!!! While I'm definitely a displaced "Yankee" (born & bred New Yorker) who never tasted a grit until moving to VA, I don't think sweet grits are a "Yankee thing" at all. In fact, plenty of folks around here who grew up a lot farther south than VA enjoy breakfast grits with syrup. It's a carb just like pancakes. Although for me it has to be REAL maple syrup, not the fake stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bacardi1
                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                  staughton Jul 10, 2012 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I've seen them do it here, too, but for some reason, whenever I think of someone dumping something sweet all over their grits, all I can think of is Emily Dickinson or Jo, Amy, Meg and Beth pouring maple syrup out of a little ceramic pitcher, like LIttle Bo Peep. lmfao! My condolences on leaving a place as wonderful as NYC (lived there for 8 years and loved it).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: staughton
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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Leepa Jul 10, 2012 04:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Young Walter Cunningham (from To Kill A Mockingbird) drowning his dinner in syrup comes to mind for me. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                                                                      staughton Jul 10, 2012 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      See? He was a hick and Scout laughed at him for doing it. Good Southerners--who don't have entailments or attend lynchings--don't drown their food in syrup. ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: staughton
                                                                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Leepa Jul 10, 2012 05:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, but as Calpurnia told her, it's bad manners to point that out! : D

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                                                                          staughton Jul 10, 2012 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          uncle. I'm still not going to put any sweet stuff on my grits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                                                                                                        deet13 Jul 10, 2012 07:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cane syrup is good on everything...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: staughton
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bacardi1 Jul 11, 2012 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        No condolences required. While I did enjoy NY (worked in Manhattan; lived in middle/eastern Long Island), I do LOVE Virginia. I'd have to have been a multi-millionaire ten times in NY in order to have the lovely large secluded acreage I have down here. And we're close to scads of wonderful dining & cultural opportunities as well. In fact, probably the only thing I miss about NY life was living on the waterfront.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. deet13 Jul 10, 2012 07:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Grits with plenty of salt and butter, served along side fried catfish or a smoked mullet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll need greens and cornbread in the mix also...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. f
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Florida Hound Jul 22, 2012 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      With some 200 replies to date (with a couple of mine in the mix already), I just want to add a "thank you" for the discussion of grits vs. polenta or grits = polenta. I never needed this information before, but it does broaden what I might look for on menus and in recipes. This week (mid-July 2012), Publix' food sample counter has a "Salmon with tomato-onion relish" recipe and sample, that includes a side of "Creamy polenta." The whole thing was wonderful, and we grabbed the recipe card with all intentions of making this at home. Their "polenta" was very similar to the chicken broth-based grits my wife (the grits hater) really has enjoyed twice now. Thanks to all Chowhound friends who helped us learn a new word... POLENTA! You all thought it was so basic, but without apology, I pass on to you that I learned something new.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Florida Hound
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bacardi1 Jul 22, 2012 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you ever get a chance to watch Alton Brown's show "Good Eats" (the repeats run on "The Cooking Channel" these days) try to catch his episode called "True Grits". Not only VERY funny in its own right, but points out the ridiculousness of the grits vs. polenta situation in a very humourous fashion (& has some good recipes to boot!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bacardi1
                                                                                                                                                                                                          suzigirl Jul 22, 2012 07:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll keep an eye out for that episode

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. chefcody Aug 1, 2012 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mark me down as another poster who moved to the south and fell in love with grits, as well as most other cookery. Anson Mills has an amazing product. I love shrimp and grits by making a nice shrimp stock by roasting the shells with tomato paste, flame with brandy, degaze with chardonnay. I don't fully understand it but grits and shrimp are just an amazing pair.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chefcody
                                                                                                                                                                                                          paulj Aug 1, 2012 06:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'd love to see someone compare the Anson Mills grits with the stone ground grits that Trader Joes recently started to sell. With shipping costs Anson Mills is well outside my experimental food budget.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          LisaPA Aug 4, 2012 06:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          My great-grandmother always made grits with an egg or 2 broken into them and stirred around at the end. If you do it with heat off, the egg doesn't scramble, but makes the grits creamier. And for the finale, crumble bacon in (and maybe a pat of butter). Breakfast in a bowl! And still my favorite way to eat them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LisaPA
                                                                                                                                                                                                            jmcarthur8 Aug 4, 2012 07:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Grits Carbonara?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jmcarthur8
                                                                                                                                                                                                              paulj Aug 4, 2012 09:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Inspired by one of the carbonara threads I actually tried that - with spam instead of bacon
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/837990#7214301

                                                                                                                                                                                                              There's a regional Spanish dish that involves cooking cornmeal with bacon, Aragon gachas
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gachas#Valencia_and_Aragon
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.redaragon.com/gastronomia/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                wyogal Aug 5, 2012 06:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                So, then the word "grits" is used rather loosely? Those recipes use corn flour instead of meal. I think that's the difference, for me, anyway. I use the word "grits" to refer to the white cornmeal mush made with hominy, whereas others use the word "grits" to refer to the mush made with any type of ground corn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: wyogal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  kengk Aug 5, 2012 06:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think paulj and I are in agreement that grits aren't made from hominy regardless of whether the package says "Hominy Grits" or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kengk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wyogal Aug 5, 2012 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yep, you are, I think I recall that from upthread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                            kengk Aug 19, 2012 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I made this recipe for our breakfast this morning. It was quite tasty but I think it would be better as a dinner side dish than as a stand alone breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.chow.com/recipes/14475-jac...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kengk
                                                                                                                                                                                                              suzigirl Aug 19, 2012 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              That looks good as either a side or along some fried eggs. Mmm boy, I want some please.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                kengk Aug 19, 2012 12:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I wish you had of been here to share cause I ate way too much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I made half the recipe and it would have been a gracious plenty for four people as a side. You may remember I am the guy that ate the two banh mi at JR Pho so when I say "gracious plenty" you can book it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kengk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  suzigirl Aug 19, 2012 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now I have an itch for JR's. And a grit souffle. I will be there with bells on next time that you need a hungry mouth to feed

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. mamachef Aug 19, 2012 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Family dinner tonight, and we're starting out with the Fried Grits cakes, topped off with fried green tomatoes and garlic prawns, and I'm starting to be sorry I didn't just upsize it and make that the entree because right now everything else seems dreary and superflouous.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              :) I'm sure I'll get over it, but I'm doubling up on ingredients just to be safe....

                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                kengk Aug 19, 2012 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Quote

                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Fried Grits cakes, topped off with fried green tomatoes and garlic prawns"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                That sure sounds good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kengk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mamachef Aug 19, 2012 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kengk, it's pretty amazing; the interplay of textures and flavors is the key. It's pretty straightforward, even if a bit involved - you should try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    suzigirl Aug 19, 2012 12:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll try it! When is dinner? I'll come hungry, I promise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wyogal Aug 19, 2012 01:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've had fried green tomatoes with crab, bleu cheese and a drizzle of reduced balsamic... oh my.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. jw615 Aug 19, 2012 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love grits, but it is a recent development...I'd never tried them until a little less than a year ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I didn't think that I'd like them when I tried them, but I was wrong. I was working in a daycare and was making them for the kids for breakfast. I was on pretty high dose steroids at the point, and hadn't eaten breakfast before I left, and was STARVING. So I tried them...and they were pretty good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Still, I thought that maybe just the steroids made me like them. I'm steroid dependent now (because I'm rather attached to being able to breathe, for some strange reason), but on a lower dose, and I still love the grits. And they're easy to fix...sometimes when I'm not having a very good day health-wise, I'll eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I generally do cheese grits, with a bit of hot sauce and some onion. Never had them with eggs - I'm allergic, and again, pretty attached to the whole breathing thing.

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