Trips down to Alabama always seem to inspire me to prepare Southern comfort foods upon my return. The last time I traveled to Birmingham, I came home with a killer hankering for old fashioned cornbread. This time around, I had creamy grits on the brain. Fortunately, I received a package of yellow stone-ground grits in my Christmas stocking! McEwen & Sons of Wilsonville manufacture The Astronomer’s mother’s favorite variety; their wares are available for purchase online.
I turned to Frank Stitt’s Southern Table for a proper grits recipe. The grits served at his temple of haute Southern cuisine, Highlands Bar & Grill, are creamy, impeccably seasoned, and pair well everything from shrimp to venison. For me, a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano was all that was required for some serious satisfaction.
- 4 cups water, preferably spring water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 cup yellow stone-ground grits
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, or a little more if desired, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese, plus more if desired
- Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Cholula
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt, then whisk in the grits in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to prevent clumps and thoroughly mix in the grits. Bring to a boil whisking, then turn the heat down to low and summer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the grits are thickened and tender.
Add the butter and Parmigiano, stirring to combine, and add the salt, white pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Taste and add more butter, cheese, and/or salt if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.