I remember when I had my first taste of grits. We were on a family road trip traveling through the Deep South. One morning I ordered bacon and eggs at a local restaurant. When my plate arrived, there was a mound of white stuff sitting next to the bacon and eggs. My grandfather told me it was grits, and it was a very popular dish in the South. I did give it a try, but I could not understand how something so mushy and rather tasteless could be so popular!
Grits are made from dried ground corn cooked in various liquids such as water, milk or broth until the mix reaches a rich creamy porridge-like consistency. They can be paired with ingredients like butter, sugar, syrup, or shrimp.
Grits do contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are high in iron which is essential for red blood cell production. They also contain many B vitamins.
Today Shrimp and Grits is a very popular dish and can be found on many restaurant menus. Each restaurant puts their own spin on it, but it doesn’t vary that much from place to place. At least that’s what I thought until we recently had some shrimp and grits at Café Amelie in New Orleans. Those grits did not look or taste like any grits I had ever eaten. They almost resembled rice, but they were incredibly creamy and amazingly delicious! Of course, I had to know more.
It turns out there are grits and then there are GRITS! The kind you can buy in the grocery store are either regular or instant grits. They have been processed to remove the germ (nutrient-rich embryo) so they have a longer shelf life.
Stone ground grits are slowly ground in a traditional stone mill so that they retain all of the natural oils found in the heart of the corn. (germ). They have a shorter shelf life so you won’t be able to get them at the grocery store. I ordered some from Palmetto Mills through Amazon.
Here is my recipe for Creamy Stone Ground Grits.
CREAMY STONE GROUND GRITS
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half
- 3 ½ cups water
- 1 stick butter
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ cups stone ground grits
- Combine all ingredients EXCEPT grits in a Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Gradually whisk in grits. (If you add them too quickly, they will clump.
- Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for 50 to 60 minutes.
This is a very creamy and delicious dish all by itself, but you can add cheese at the end of the cooking time if you wish.
These grits are so yummy – You will want to lick the spoon and kiss your grits!