Friday, May 14, 2010

A Southern Staple

I am a huge- HUGE- fan of grits. I could (and sometimes do) eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

First thing to know about cooking grits: Please only buy Old Fashioned Grits... not instant grits or quick grits. They aren't nearly as creamy and good. Making Old Fashioned Grits only takes about 15
minutes, so it's not like the instant kind is saving you that much time.

My old-standard variation of grits (perfect for breakfast):
Grits

Butter
Sharp Cheddar (white or reg)
A couple slices of Kraft Singles (don't hate... the processed cheese helps it get much creamier)
Salt
Pepper

Garlic Salt

Follow the directions on the box of grits. When it's close to being done, add the butter and cheeses. Then season to taste. The worst thing you can do to grits is leave them undersalted.

I think what I like most about grits is the ability to customize them. Sometimes, when I'm feeling so inclined, I replace a bit of the water with milk, cream or half and half - or some combination of the above - to make even creamier grits. Or, if you're serving grits for dinner (as like a side accompaniment to meat), I substitute water with chicken stock. Just makes it a bit richer.

And while I love grits as a side dish, they can also steal the show. Shrimp in grits is one of my favorite meals to eat. Such a favorite, in fact, that they were even served at our wedding. I've gone to many a wedding with so-so shrimp and grits, so I made sure to test them at the country club before they were put on the m
enu. And they were fabulous.

But the great thing about shrimp & grits is every version is different. Here are two of my favorite versions.

The Point (restaurant in Raleigh) Shrimp & Grits <--- served with a Tabasco butter sauce. This recipe looks similar (except please don't use quick grits).



Crook's Corner (legendary restaurant in Chapel Hill) <--- Chad's favorite version. It's lemony, which is different from any other version I've had and amazingly delish. Recipe here.

Lucky for me, I'm heading to the holy grail of shrimp and grits this weekend - Charleston, South Carolina...one of my favorite places on earth. We're going for a dear friends wedding on Sunday, but make no mistake - shrimp and grits will be consumed more than once!Saturday night we're having dinner at one of Chad's favorite places - Fleet Landing - which boasts itself as the only restaurant downtown with a waterfront view. Last time we spent 5 days in Charleston, I'm pretty sure Chad ordered She Crab soup at ever place we visited - lunch and dinner. Fleet Landing's blew the rest of the competition away. However, he has yet to try it at 82 Queen or Poogan's Porch - so I'm hoping to drag him to one of those places for lunch on Sunday... except it will be hard to pull him away from Jestine's!

4 comments:

  1. You are making me hungry girl! Have a wonderful time in SC!

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  2. Have a wonderful weekend! We still have never been to Charleston and keeping talking about it! And I have been graving grits lately but I have eaten that dish at the Point, yummy!

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  3. My husband works at Tyler's Taproom and they have the most amazing shrimp and grits I've ever had. You must try it and tell me how they compare to your standard

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  4. Robin Ann - I looove Tyler's but have never tried their shrimp and grits. I'll definitely give it a try next time I'm out there!

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