Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cheesy Grits

As I mentioned in my last post, I received one of Ina Garten's cookbooks for Christmas.  As soon as I started flipping through the pages I knew that I wanted to try her Creamy Cheddar Grits.  My husband was a little apprehensive about having grits for dinner, but he quickly changed his mind once he tasted them.  These were so good!  And so creamy!  And so cheesy!  I'll definitely be making these again.

Cheesy Grits
Serves 6
Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

2 tsp salt
1 cup quick-cooking grits (polenta) *not instant
1 1/4 cups half and half
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups aged sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (4 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped scallions (about 4-6 scallions)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
grated Cheddar and chopped scallions for garnish

1.  Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot.  Add the salt, then slowly add the grits in a steady stream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the grits thicken, about 5 minutes.
2.  Add the half and half and butter to the grits and stir.  Bring to a simmer stirring occasionally.  Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes, until very smooth and creamy.  Take the grits off of the heat and stir in the Cheddar, scallions and pepper.  Season to taste and serve hot topped with more cheese and scallions.

Normally I try and "healthify" recipes, but since I'm still in holiday-eating mode, I didn't with this one.  Next time I make it I may try to lighten it up a little bit with less butter and maybe skim milk instead of half and half or lowfat cheese instead of full fat.  Although I think those ingredients may be the key to get the grits as creamy as these were, so maybe not ;)

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