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Secrets of fluffy grits

On a recent visit to Charleston and Savannah we sampled shrimp and grits at several restaurants. My husband had not previously thought he was a fan of grits, but he noticed that these grits were rather fluffy, with somewhat nubby texture, which he liked. I made shrimp and grits for breakfast this morning, using stone ground grits that we bought at a roadside stand on our trip and following the cooking directions on the bag (1 cup grits to 4 cups liquid, bring to boil and then turn down to simmer with lid on for about 45 minutes). While tasty, the grits didn't have that same fluffy texture. I did not add cheese or milk because I am temporarily on a non-dairy diet. I need suggestions for either cooking technique or for the best grits to order online.

The shrimp mixture, by the way, turned out great -- I started with chopped bacon, added onion, bell pepper, garlic, a diced smoked Louisiana sausage, and finished with chicken stock and seasonings and added the shrimp in the last few minutes.

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  1. The longer they cook, typically the better. The ultra fluffy appearance comes from milk added at the end of preparation and cooked slightly longer. After adding the milk, you will see the grits "fluff up".

    1. As mentioned loner cooking time and higher liquid to Grit ratio will really allow the Grits to bloom.

      1. Try a 1-6 ratio, reserving the final 1/6th as whole milk for the finish. I have found that 1-4 is much too stiff for my liking.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sherri

          Or halfn half

          Or heavy cream...

        2. Add a Tbsp of baking powder and cook the grits in the microwave 12 minutes in a covered casserole. Stir after 6 minutes, cook for a total of 12 minutes.

          1. Dairy Products - Total Fat in Grams Per Cup
            .

            184.12g - Butter, stick type
            88.06g - Heavy Cream (Whipping Cream before whipping)
            72g - Original Philadelphia Cream Cheese
            49g - Whipped Butter
            48.21g - Sour Cream
            46.34g - Light Cream
            31.93g - Ricotta Cheese (Whole Milk)
            27.84g - Half & Half Cream
            26.62g - Sweetened Condensed Milk
            22g - Traditional Plain Greek Yogurt
            19.05g - Evaporated Milk, undiluted
            19g - Regular Eggnog
            14.26g - Ice Cream
            7.93g - Whole Milk
            5g - 2% Plain Greek Yogurt
            4.9g - Buttermilk (2% - Reduced Fat, Cultured)
            4.81g - 2% Milk
            3.8g - Plain Yogurt
            2.37g - 1% Milk
            2.16g - Buttermilk (1% - Lowfat, Cultured)
            1.4g - Dry Buttermilk (Reconstituted)
            0.44g - Nonfat Milk
            0.44g - Nonfat Plain Yogurt

            4 Replies
            1. re: Antilope

              I personally would not use a microwave and I don't even know the point of listing the fat....

              1. re: LaLa

                Cook's Illustrated has a polenta recipe that is made in a microwave in 12 minutes. It turns out quite good and requires about 10 seconds of stirring, total. It's my go to method. Work smarter not harder.

                The list of dairy with grams of fat shows other alternatives to half-and-half with similar fat. So richer of less rich liquids can be used for the grits.

                Doing the same old things over and over and over with little imagination is boring and very dull.

                1. re: Antilope

                  I guess it is suppose to convince me since CI says so...uh no....in MY opinion grits should not be cooked in the microwave.
                  And I don't do the same thing over and over...where did that even come from?....but I think the list is off topic for the question that was asked.

              2. re: Antilope

                OKKKKKKK, why? That was not asked, anywhere