Ever have grits? It's dried, ground corn, simmered in milk or another liquid. It's relatively bland, so most recipes jazz it up a tad or serve under something else. I prefer it simple cheesy porridge-style for a leisurely Sunday breakfast, but to enjoy on weekdays I make it the night before, then slice-and-serve for a speedy breakfast, lunch or brunch.
Leave out the hot paprika if you think steak sauce bites back. But only cut the amount of chili pepper in half ... that way you'll get the flavor without the hurt.
Spicy Cheese Grits
Adapted from: Jewish Food Experience
Yield: 6-8 family servings, 10-12 polite buffet-sized servings
8 cups water
2 cups uncooked stone-ground (old fashioned) grits
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tbl. unsalted butter
1 cup whole or low-fat (2%) milk
6-8 ozs. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. chipotle chili pepper
pinch hot red paprika (optional)
1 tsp. garlic powder
Optional toppings: an additional 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar or grated Parmesan cheese, plus a shake of sweet paprika
In a 4-quart saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat.
Stir together grits, salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to medium; slowly pour grits mixture into the boiling water, whisking constantly until no lumps remain. Whisk in the butter.
Reduce heat to low and let grits simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir to break up any lumps. Let simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
Stir in milk. Stir in cheese until completely melted. Stir in chili pepper, hot red paprika (if using), and garlic powder.
If serving immediately, pour into bowls and enjoy immediately.
If serving later, pour into a large casserole dish or microwave-safe loaf pan, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Just before serving, optionally top with additional cheddar or Parmesan cheese and sprinkle on a little sweet paprika. Microwave on full power for 5-6 minutes or until fully heated. Cut into squares or slices.
- 8 cups water
- 2 cups uncooked stone-ground grits
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup half-and-half
- 4–6 ounces (1–1½ cups) smoked cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder or to taste
- Ground red chipotle if you like some heat (optional)
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Gradually whisk in grits, salt, pepper and butter and stir vigorously until the water and grits are evenly mixed and there are no lumps. Cook over a very low flame, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Add half-and-half and stir. Add grated cheese to simmering grits, stirring until melted. Then add spices, adjusting seasoning to taste. If grits become too thick, add a little water, milk or half-and-half. Serve immediately.
- To serve later, pour grits into a 9x9-inch casserole dish. When ready to serve, top with additional grated cheese and smoked paprika, if desired, and bake at 350 degrees until heated through, about 20 minutes.