I grew up in Kentucky and never ate grits as a child. It is embarrassing. And even more embarrassing is that I didn’t eat grits at home for a lot of my adult life, I never took the time to learn how after moving out, getting married and having kids.
Shame on me. Seriously.
But it is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks, and after having many wonderful restaurant experiences that involved a bowl of grits with something yummy and warm souped all over it, be it shrimp and sauce or maybe short ribs and caramelized onions, I finally decided it was time to step up to the plate and teach myself how to make corn grits.
And it really couldn’t be too much easier.
If I have homemade chicken stock on hand, I’m likely to add that in as part of my liquid requirements for this recipe, but I’m not so committed that I would go out of my way to make a fresh batch of stock just to include some in my grits recipe. Sometimes I include store bought stock in my grits and other times I might use only water. It’s all good.
So if my grits look a little browner than you think they should or than other peoples grits, it is because I most likely have included a little chicken stock. If you would prefer yellower grits or you’re trying to avoid animal based food, by all means, skip the stock and use only water instead.
My recipe here is quite small, suitable for healthy servings for two, or maybe four smaller servings if desired. But the ratio between the corn grits and liquid remains the same, so it is not an issue to size this recipe up at all.
I’ve seen all sorts of ratios listed on the internet, but I prefer a 4 to 1 ratio of cooking liquid to dry grits, with a little extra water on the side in case I cook them too quickly and start to dry them out.
I’ve also seen very quick cook times, even from Bob’s Red Mill, my preferred brand, but it just doesn’t work for me, I much prefer a lower temperature and a longer cook time. Instead of 5-10 minutes I like to take closer to 20-30 minutes, which often works well with my dinner prep anyway, so it is something of a win-win for me.
My liquid goes in first, bring to a simmer, slowly stir in grits over medium-low heat, add seasonings and then simply keep them very gently bubbling until just a few minutes before it is time to serve them up, which is when I add in whatever extras I deem necessary off the heat.
And what I usually deem necessary would be butter or cream and a nice helping of shredded cheese, almost any kind would likely be delicious.
- 1/2 cup corn grits
- 2 cups liquid 1 cup chicken stock plus 1 cup water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp heavy cream or butter
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese parmesan, asiago or a blend
- pour liquids into small pot on stovetop and bring to a light boil or simmer
- add corn grits and stir and lower heat to a very slight simmer or even lower
- have water on hand in case grits start to thicken more than you would like, simply add a little bit of water to thin them out as they cook
- add seasonings and stir to combine
- when it is close to serving time, remove from heat, add cream or butter and cheese and stir to combine and melt the cheese
- serve warm with something awesome on top!
I’ve assembled a pretty reasonable estimate of what your nutritional panel might look like for my grits recipe as written above, but a few small variables remain depending upon what brand grits you use, what kind cheese and how much you sprinkled in, and whether or not you went with chicken stock or water, and how much of each.