Garlic cheese grits
There are certain basic things every Southern cook should know how to make and, for me, grits is at the top of the list. Yet, shockingly, so many people do not know how to make them correctly. I believe that is how grits got its name – because so often they are…well…gritty. That is not desired and in my household it is not allowed.
And the grits industry, if there is such a thing, makes it even worse. In most grocery stores there are two kinds – quick and instant. Don’t those two terms seem mighty similar? You always want quick, never instant. And then the quick grits package tells you they cook in five minutes. They do not. Liar, liar, pants on fire.
If you think you don’t like grits, I promise you that you will like them if you cook them my way. Five minutes is really more like 20 minutes and the key is to stir, stir, stir with a whisk. They should be creamy little pillows of goodness. And adding a little garlic butter and cream doesn’t hurt the equation.
Years ago, the Men of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church used to cook breakfast every Sunday morning before the 8:45 service. And some of their grits were, sadly, substandard. While mine, after I crashed one of the all-male cooking teams (what a rebel) were, of course, superior.
The day of the Great Flood of Middle Tennessee in 2010, King Daddy and I braved the carnage to make our way to church, despite the fact that the rector told us not to come. You know, King Daddy. He loves a challenge.
We didn’t think anyone would show up for breakfast. But you know what? In the midst of disaster, Jim Ulezelski walked through the door. He knew we were cooking breakfast and he loved my grits. That’s how good they are.
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons cold butter
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup quick cooking grits
- 2 ounces Velveeta, cubed
- ¼ cup cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put the butter and garlic in a coffee cup and microwave it on high for 60 seconds. Set aside.
- Put the water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the grits and stir, stir, stir for about 25 minutes until the grits are creamy. Add the garlic butter and Velveeta and stir until the "cheese" is melted. Add the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.