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Creamy Southern Grits

Creamy Southern Grits

There’s nothing more comforting than enjoying a wonderful batch of grits! And there’s truly nothing more Southern!

After a recent trip to Atlanta I was reminded of how luscious a really good pot of grits can be. Emily made grits for a gathering and seconds were definitely in order! I always felt my grits hit the mark until the first time I tasted Emily’s. Rich and creamy with just the right amount of seasoning.

Grits, which are nothing more than stone ground corn, are either yellow or white. My Grandmother and Mom only prepared white grits which is also the option most commonly used in Southern cooking. Yellow grits are, well, polenta.

Many folks say they’re not a fan of grits. I would dare say it’s most likely due to the way they’ve been cooked. Here’s a tip – if your recipe says to simply cook the grits in water you need to throw that recipe away. Grits benefit from being cooked in dairy with a dose of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper then toss in some cheese for good measure. The cooking liquid should taste slightly salty. If they’re not seasoned while they cook there is no amount of salt that can make up for it afterwards.

If your schedule allows, let the grits soak for one hour in the half and half before cooking. Grits need some attention while they cook – mainly whisking frequently to keep them from clumping or scorching. A flat whisk is the perfect tool since it can work into the corners of your pan.

The best part of this cooking method is that the grits can be prepared in advance then reheated with a touch of extra milk. You can keep them warm in a slow cooker using the low setting if you’re serving a brunch buffet. Add “fixins” such as crispy bacon, chopped scallions or chives and an extra topping of cheddar!

If you think you don’t like grits – this might just change your mind!

Creamy Southern Grits

1 cup stone ground white grits, 5-minute grits in a pinch but not instant

1 cup half and half

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ – ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1-1/2 cups milk, plus extra if needed

½ cup cream

¼ cup grated Parmesan*

¼ cup grated Fontina*

Combine the grits along with the half and half in a saucepan, stirring to combine. Let the grits soak for about an hour.

Add the kosher salt and the black pepper to the grits and cook over medium heat.

Whisk frequently to keep the grits smooth and prevent them from clumping. Continue cooking until the grits begin to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Whisk in 1-cup of the milk into the grits and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the grits have absorbed the milk and are thick. Add the additional ½-cup milk and continue cooking until thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cream until blended into the grits. Add the cheese and mix well. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until the cheese has melted and the grits are thick and creamy.

Serve hot with grated cheddar, crispy bacon, chopped scallions or chives – or just a touch of butter!

If you’re serving the grits for a group and need to keep them warm, place them in a slow cooker on the low setting. Add additional milk if needed. They can also be made ahead and refrigerated – stir in additional milk to reach your desired consistency.

4-6 servings

*Feel free to use you favorite cheese.

Creamy Southern Grits, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 15, 2018
: 4-6

Rich and creamy with just the right amount of seasoning - there’s truly nothing more Southern than grits!

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup stone ground white grits, 5-minute grits in a pinch but not instant
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups milk, plus extra if needed
  • ½ cup cream
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan*
  • ¼ cup grated Fontina*
  • *Feel free to use you favorite cheese.
Directions
  • Step 1 Combine the grits along with the half and half in a saucepan, stirring to combine. Let the grits soak for about an hour.
  • Step 2 Add the kosher salt and the black pepper to the grits and cook over medium heat. Whisk frequently to keep the grits smooth and prevent them from clumping. Continue cooking until the grits begin to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Step 3 Whisk in 1-cup of the milk into the grits and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the grits have absorbed the milk and are thick.
  • Step 4 Add the additional ½-cup milk and continue cooking until thick, about 10 minutes.
  • Step 5 Stir in the cream until blended into the grits. Add the cheese and mix well. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until the cheese has melted and the grits are thick and creamy.
  • Step 6 Serve hot with grated cheddar, crispy bacon, chopped scallions or chives – or just a touch of butter!
  • Step 7 If you’re serving the grits for a group and need to keep them warm, place them in a slow cooker on the low setting. Add additional milk if needed. They can also be made ahead and refrigerated – stir in additional milk to reach your desired consistency.


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