Thursday, November 25, 2010


The last time I tasted grits was about 20 years ago when I traveled south and stopped in South Carolina for breakfast. While I love polenta, I didn't much care for the grits I was served with my eggs and I hadn't had them since. Then, while leafing through Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, I lingered on the photograph of Ina's creamy cheddar grits and thought they'd be the perfect accompaniment to her Tuscan Lemon Chicken. Never having made grits, I didn't realize how generous this portion, which does note that it serves 6, would be. All the better to enjoy as leftovers!

2 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup fine quick-cooking grits (NOT INSTANT)
1 1/4 cups half and half (I used fat free half and half)
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups aged sharp cheddar cheese, grated, 4 oz (I used 2 % shredded cheddar)
1/2 cup chopped scallions

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a heavy 4-quart saucepan. Add the salt, then slowly add the grits in a thin, steady stream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the grits thicken, about 5 - 7 minutes.

Add the half and half and butter to the grits and stir. The mixture will be thin, but will thicken as it cooks. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, until very smooth and creamy.

Off the heat, stir in the cheddar and scallions. Add pepper to taste.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm! These were just incredible! I loved the thick creaminess interspersed with bits of scallion and gooey, melty cheese. The wonderful chicken was almost forgotten in our grits-induced carb haze. I need to figure out how many calories per serving because I'm going to want these again and again (DSO says, "Me, too"). Ina is a genius!


  1. I thought I wasn't a grits fan and then I had them with cheese and LOVED them. These look delicious--so creamy and good. ;-)

  2. I never ate grits thinking they were just a fattening version of oatmeal...then, one day, I tried a 'savory' recipe (I think Bobby Flay's) and, boy, was I surprised!! Bacon, scallions and cheese can sure do that to you!

  3. I have been in florida 17 yrs and never had a grit! Can you beleive it? Your inspiring me, if you were here I would for sure eat these!

  4. Ina really is a genius! Me and the kids love grits and have them frequently for breakfast. I will definitely have to try this recipe.

  5. I haven't had grits in years, Arlene. I like polenta mixed with cheese so I imagine the cheese would make the grits taste so good. I love cheddar cheese :)

  6. Yum! I'll have to try her grits. You should also try Ina's recipes for lemon chx breasts and pinenut couscous in her newest cookbook - they're keepers!

  7. Tried this with roasted tomatoes and mushrooms and it was great! I poured the leftovers into single-serving tart dishes to set up so I can pop out little cakes to pan fry later this week.


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