Grits, it seems, are (is?) a very controversial topic. If you’re in the South, it’s whether to have them sweet or savory. Sweet is with butter and sugar. Savory is with butter, salt and pepper. If you’re not from the South you tend to dismiss grits altogether. And that is a tragic loss. Kind of like Southerners turning up their noses at corned beef hash, which is decidedly not Southern, but still utterly delicious.
So here is my theory about why some people don’t like grits. They don’t know how to cook them. And, sadly, some of the companies that sell them don’t know how to cook them either. Their directions are just slap wrong.
So here we go. Directions for cooking grits properly. First off, you don’t want instant grits. They come in a packet. You just add boiling water. Nothing good can come of that. What you want are Quick 5 Minute Grits. Except you don’t cook them for five minutes. You cook them for about 20 minutes, stirring until you think your arm’s going to fall off. That’s what makes them creamy. Just taste as you go. If the grits are, well, gritty they’re not done. Keep a going until you achieve creamy.
And you add things. Like if you’re making shrimp and grits you use chicken stock instead of water. Grits are like tofu. No, that’s a lie. Tofu sucks. But they’re similar in that they easily absorb other flavors.
And if you’re making grits to nestle some sausage and peppers in you add Velveeta. Yes, Velveeta. The most superior melting “cheese” ever invented. I know it’s not real cheese. Just shut up and try it. And then if you feel a little racy, you add garlic softened in a little butter (okay, a lot of butter).
So just try making grits. The whole experiment will cost you about $4. And you’ll have Velveeta left over. It lasts for approximately 7 years in the ice box.
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup Quick 5-Minute grits
- 4 ounces Velveeta, cut into cubes
- Salt and pepper
- Whole milk
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the minced garlic. Cook over very low heat until the garlic has given up its raw smell and is softened. Set aside.
- Boil the water in a 2-quart saucepan. When the water has reached a furious boil, add the grits and stir them continuously with a whisk for about 20 minutes until they are creamy. Taste as you go. You’ll know when you get there.
- Add the Velveeta and stir until it’s melted. Season with salt and pepper and taste.
- The grits will tend to solidify in the saucepan if you don’t serve them immediately. Add enough whole milk to thin the grits over low heat.