Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cheese Grits

The perfect breakfast on a snowy day.
I absolutely love grits.  When I was younger I remember having grits for breakfast at my grandmom and pop pop's home.  Pop pop would ask if we wanted them "loose" (meaning more watery) or "tight" (thicker so you could stand a fork up in them).  I like them somewhere in-between:  creamy enough to create a pool on your plate, but thick enough to eat with a fork. 

Sharp cheddar makes it better.  I prefer to shred my own.
I'm originally from New Jersey (my grandparents were from North Carolina) and I know a lot of people in this part of the U.S. don't like grits.  When I was in college my classmates turned their noses up at the grits that were offered in the dining hall, but I think that some people just don't know how to hook up grits, so they assume that they are flavorless and mushy.  On their own they can be bland, but once you add salt, pepper, butter, and even cheese, grits are one of my favorite side dishes.

The view from my kitchen table at breakfast time today
I'm so happy that E grew up eating grits, too.  I knew he was my soul mate when he helped himself to a nice hot bowl of grits in the dining hall back in college.  When I saw the snow today I knew that we needed a hearty breakfast before we he went out to shovel snow, so we had some grits.  He was even kind enough to wash the grits pot after breakfast without complaint.  (A word of advice, cleaning up grits is a pain.  Make sure you rinse and soak dishes first.)

A note on grits:  In Delaware (and most "northern" states), I have trouble finding anything other than Quaker Grits.  These grits are great and I usually purchase the quick (NOT instant) variety.  However, if you can get your hands on some stone ground grits or some yellow corn grits (I used those for this recipe), use them. 

Yellow corn grits, imported from the great state of North Carolina
Cheese Grits
a Keeley original
Serves 2-3

2 cups water
1/4 cup grits (do not use instant grits, quick grits are okay)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon butter
salt and pepper, to taste

In a small pot, bring water to a boil.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to boiling water.

Whisk grits into boiling water and reduce to a low simmer.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to thicken.

Add 1/2 teaspoon pepper, butter,  and whisk in cheese.  Continue to simmer until grits thicken to desired consistency.  Adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Serve hot in a bowl with spoon or on a plate (depending on consistency).


  1. I never had any grits and when I got married my lovely {black} husband was astounded by this fact. We just didn't eat them at my house growing up. I have tried them a few times but I am not in love : ) I am in love with this great tutorial though. Fun as can be!

  2. I agree with you on shredding your own cheese- it make all the difference in the way it melts. This looks so homey and comforting.


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