With this simple recipe, making grits has never been easier. This warm and inviting dish is made by boiling a milk combination and serving it with butter on top. This recipe has evolved from a simple breakfast to a gourmet entrée complete with local shrimp, costly mushrooms, and cheese! Native Americans first ate grits, and they’ve been a mainstay in the American South for a long time. Grits are a frequent breakfast item in southern cuisine (but whether you want sugar or salt is a hotly argued personal preference). Grits are also included in traditional low country cuisines like shrimp and grits, and heirloom kinds and provenances are highlighted on restaurant menus. It is a versatile and cost-effective pantry staple that can feed a crowd or serve as a side dish that fits just about anything.
For recipes like shrimp and grits or cheddar grits, grits are necessary. They are, however, flexible starch with a neutral canvas that quickly absorbs various flavors. They can be served as porridge for breakfast or with bacon and eggs, in a bowl with beans or leftover roast vegetables for lunch, or as a dish or main dish for supper. Other classics, such as waffles and grit cakes, can be made with grits.
How to Make Grits Recipe?
To make grits, use a four-to-one water-to-grits ratio (you can always add more water if the grits are getting too thick before cooking). Add salt to the water, bring to a boil, then add the grits and cook for 45 minutes, often stirring (for stone-ground grits). Slowly heating your grits and turning them frequently allows the natural starches to release, resulting in a creamy texture and smooth consistency.
In addition to water, chicken broth can be used to cook grits. Incorporate milk, cream, butter, or cheese for a richer flavor and creamier consistency. Quick-cooking grits have the same water-to-grits ratio as regular grits, but they cook in around 5 to 10 minutes because they’re finer milled. Instant grits have already been cooked and dehydrated, so all you have to do now is rehydrate them with boiling water, as directed on the container. Grits can also be roasted in the oven to shorten the stand-and-stir time.
- 2 1/2 cups (590ml) water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as desired
- 1/2 cup (85g) yellow or white corn grits, preferably stone-ground (optionally rinsed, see note)
- Two tablespoons (30g) of unsalted butter
Beyond this simple recipe, grits can be served in various ways. Shrimp and grits are a classic combination, and you can make it your own by adding crab, lobster, crayfish, oysters, or any other seafood you prefer. You can also serve them with chicken or turkey in a smothering sauce or a rich red wine-braised piece of beef.
Of course, they go well with eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast, but you can also add salmon or corned beef hash to spice things up (my favorites). Allow the grits to cool before frying them into grit cakes, a delicious appetizer, or for dinner. Adding cheddar, bacon, green onion, sausage, and whatever else in your kitchen cupboards or refrigerator is also a fantastic idea, as grits go well with almost everything. On the other hand, sugar is something you’ll never find on the table with my grits. Leave that to oatmeal and other porridges, please.
What are Grits?
Grits are created from a starchy, less sweet form of corn called dent corn. Hominy is made by soaking dried maize in lye or another alkali for several days to remove the hard shell. Hominy, as well as white and yellow corn varieties, are available when purchasing grits. Grits are prepared from ground maize, usually from dent corn varieties, which are less sweet and starchy. It is often classified according to whether they are derived from yellow or white maize. Grits are coarsely ground grains formed from stone-ground corn or hominy. They can be boiled in water or broth to add taste.
What are the Varieties of Grits?
Stone-ground grits, often known as old-fashioned grits, have a rougher texture and stronger flavor since the germ is kept intact. It’s better to keep them in the freezer because they’re less processed and perishable.
As the name implies, quick-cooking grits have been finely ground and cook faster.
Instant grits are pre-cooked and dehydrated grits that are rehydrated with hot water and then cooked.
Hominy grits are made from alkaline-soaked maize (usually lime or lye). After removing the husk, the kernels are dried and stone crushed.
Heirloom grits might be blue from blue corn or Bloody Butcher from dent corn’s burgundy-to-red color.
What do Grits Taste Like?
Grits taste like corn, but they’re generally light and serve as a blank canvas for other flavors to shine through. Because they are ground with the germ intact, stone-ground grits have the most taste; some claim yellow corn grits have a more prominent corn flavor, while white grits have a more delicate, subtle flavor. To preserve the flavor and color of heirloom types, they are often ground to a medium to coarse texture. Instant grits and quick-cooking grits are finely ground and have the mildest flavor.
How to Choose the Best Grits?
Stone-ground grits, such as those from Southern Queen Foods, are recommended for a genuinely great pot of grits. While we tested this recipe with stone-ground grits, it will also work with grits from most other mills and brands. Only instant and fast grits, which cook quickly with minimal water, should be cooked according to the package directions.
Stone-ground grits are created from whole kernel corn that has been pulverized in a stone mill to provide a more complex texture that ranges from bigger chunks to fine powder. They have a shorter shelf life because maize bran contains rancid oils. The shelf life of these grits can be extended by storing them in a cool, dry area, preferably the fridge or the freezer, for more extended storage periods of more than a month.
Cornmeal, like grits, is formed from dent corn, but it’s finely ground into a flour-like texture that’s great for baking (like cornbread or corn muffins) or breading (like poultry or fish meals). Polenta is a meal produced from a different variety of corn than grits that is popular in Northern Italian cuisine. Polenta is made from medium to coarsely ground flint corn, which is less starchy than grits made from dent corn. As a result, when the polenta is boiled, it does not have the same creamy feel as grits.