If you’re visiting the South, don’t be surprised to find hominy grits on the menu. Hominy grits are prepared in many ways. They appear at breakfast, as side dishes and may even be part as the main meal. Usually known as simply grits, they are a southern culinary tradition. Hominy grits are made from dried corn. The corn becomes known as hominy when it is soaked in a lye bath causing the kernels to expand and swell. You then remove the skins. You can buy frozen or canned hominy.
When the hominy is dried, it is ground into fine, medium and coarse particles. These grinds are grits. You can buy them in three varieties, the traditional slow cooking, quick cooking and instant. People often ask what grits taste like. The easy way out is to say they taste like grits. Grits have a bland or neutral taste. You could compare them to plain mashed potatoes. Because of the bland underlying flavor they go well with many additions, serving as the base of many delicious dishes.
Hominy grits were a staple of the Native Americans. They introduced their version of a boiled; soften corn mush called “ rockahomine” to the English colonists in 1584.
Grits are most often served at breakfast with bacon, eggs and toast. It can be compared to Cream of Wheat, but made from corn not wheat. Grits can take the place of hash brown potatoes. Grits are best with a pat of butter and a little sugar, although some will say no sugar, but instead add salt and pepper. The basic recipe for grits is very easy and simple. The following recipe is for slow cooking grits. Instant and quick cooking grits will take less time and are convenient, just follow the recipe on the box.
Basic slow-cooking recipe, great for breakfast: This recipe will serve 4.
4 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup of whole-grain grits, salt and pepper to taste. Bring water, butter and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly add the grits, returning to a boil and then turn heat to low setting and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir the grits frequently, to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and enjoy.
If you have left-over’s, you can add a beaten egg to the cold grits and refrigerate until firm or over night, Slice and fry for an easy breakfast or snack the next day.
Cheese grits is a great side dish. This recipe uses quick grits and serves 4.
2 c. water
1/2 c. Enriched Hominy Quick Grits
1/4 tsp Salt
2 ounce Shredded Swiss cheese
2 ounce Shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 c. Grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. Margarine or butter
1 extra large Egg, beaten
1 small Garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, add the grits and salt to boiling water. Let the water start boiling again and then lower the heat to simmer. Cook the grits until thicken, this should only take two or three minutes. Keep stirring so the grits won’t stick or burn. Next stir in all the cheeses and keep stirring until the cheese melt. Then add the butter, garlic and Worcestershire sauce, stirring all the time. Pour the mixture into a greased 1quart casserole and bake 30 to 35 minutes.
Grits also make a favorite dinner casserole. Here is a classic Shrimp and Grits Casserole that you will be proud to serve your family and guests. It serves 10 to 12 people.
4 cups chicken broth
1/ 2 teaspoon salt
1 cup regular grits
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided (4 ounces)
1 cup shredded Monterey jack pepper cheese (4 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
6 green onions chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb fresh small shrimp, peeled and cooked
1(10 ounce)can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a large saucepan bring the chicken broth and salt to a boil, stir in the grits, cover and cook on low for 20 minutes. Then add the cheeses. Save ¼ cup of the cheddar. In a separate skillet, sauté for 5 minutes the green onions, bell pepper and garlic in the melted butter. Sauté just until the vegetables are tender. Next combine the shrimp, grits and vegetable mixtures, stir in the drained diced tomatoes and green chilies and pour everything into a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the 1.4 cup cheddar cheese you had set aside on the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 t0 40 minutes. Enjoy your grits experience.