Winnie asked in last week’s newsletter how to make her grits creamier. I got a bunch of feedback.
Kerry said, “Simplest answer, use real grits and cook ‘em low and slow.” Reminds me of that scene from My Cousin Vinny:
Barbara was a bit more specific:
The only trick to making creamy grits, is to add grits to pot first then add water and salt and stir. Use four times more water than grits. (i.e. 1/2 cup grits and 2 cups water, 1/8 tsp salt)
Stir often and well, and lower heat after water starts to boil. Cook on very low heat, stirring often, until thick and creamy. I like to add a lid to the pot after lowering heat, and stir often.
I also like to add butter (1 stick) and American cheese (5 slices Kraft) for really tasty and creamy grits. My family loves it. It’s fabulous with eggs and bacon!
I’m definitely not a Southerner. But that Kraft cheese bit sounds like the kind of thing some Southerners are going to get up in arms about.
Darcy had another pretty thorough response:
Coming from the south, we learn early on that it is important to know how to buy and cook our grits so that they are creamy. Watery, bland, grits will be left uneaten on the plate every time.
The first thing Winnie should do is purchase white or yellow, speckled, stone-ground grits. These are not quick cooking grits so she’ll need to be prepared to stay with them for 20-30 minutes while they cook. I recommend using a non-stick pot and she’ll need to watch them and add water as needed so they don’t stick (even the best non-stick pots have been foiled by grits).
The best grits I’ve found can be purchased from Nora Mill Granary Grist Mill & Country Store. I’m not advertising for them, I just prefer their product after trying and discarding several store brands throughout the years. If you prefer not to pass on this information, it’s fine by me.
She should definitely shop around and find the brand she likes best.
I add butter (for the recipe shown below, I use about a tablespoon and a half), salt and pepper to the water before it ever comes to a boil but recipes vary as do quantities. The basic grits recipe from Nora Mill Granary is this:
Basic Grits Recipe
1 cup grits
3 cups water
salt and margarine to taste
Bring 3 cups of water (add salt and butter at this time) to a rapid boil in a heavy saucepan. Add grits and stir until water boils again. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and continue cooking for 20 minutes stirring often and adding water if necessary. Add salt and butter if you have not already done so.
I follow this recipe and always have creamy grits. I’ve even been known to add fresh shrimp, sautéed scallions and garlic for an easy shrimp and grits breakfast.
Good luck to Winnie in her quest for creamy grits.
Finally, Karen sends along a link to Paula Deen’s grits recipe. She’s a little more Southern than me, so yeah.
Want more like this? For more recipes like this, that you can hold right in your hands, and write on, take notes, tear pages out if you want (Gosh, you're tough on books, aren't you?) you might be interested in How To Cook Like Your Grandmother, 2nd edition, Illustrated. Or to learn your way around the kitchen, check out Starting From Scratch: The Owner's Manual for Your Kitchen.