Friday, November 07, 2014

Cheddar Grits with Greens and Caramelized Onions

One of the things I love about my place of employment is all of its wonderful quirks -- we potluck once a month, have chili cook-offs, Wednesday afternoon walks, donut Fridays, "Monster Chases," Muffin Mondays, send out way too many agency-wide emails, (and occasionally hit "reply all" to those agency-wide emails,) write haikus about salad, have an agency vehicle named "Marge," (and we talk about her like she's a real person,) enjoy epic holiday parties with gourmet, homemade food and a talent show, have unusual names for our large meeting and conference rooms, and rush the front desk en masse when someone's toddler accidentally presses the "panic" button.  However, one of my most favorite quirky things about my place of employment is "Grits Club."

What is "Grits Club," you ask?  Well, Grits Club is nothing more than a bunch of folks who love grits, band together, and order cases, stone-ground to order, en masse from Hoppin' John's.  I had the opportunity to join Grits Club this year, and I'm so glad I did.  I can't think of a better supper on a cold, blustery, damp, late fall evening than a big plate of cheddar grits, covered with sautéed greens and caramelized onions, can you?

Cheddar Grits with Greens and Caramelized Onions
serves 2

1 c whole milk
1 1/2 c water
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 c stone-ground grits
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, at room temperature
sautéed greens (kale, collards, chard, spinach, whatever)
caramelized onions (at least 2 tbsp per serving)

1. Bring the water, milk, salt, and pepper to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in the grits slowly, and continue whisking constantly for about three minutes.  (You may need to turn the heat down to medium-ish at some point.)
2. Turn the heat down to low (and use a heat diffuser,) cover the grits, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes.
3. Whisk in the butter and cheese.  Serve big plates of grits covered in sautéed greens and caramelized onions.  Eat immediately.

I recommend making only as many servings of grits as you will consume in one sitting.  (So, if you are cooking for just yourself like I am these days, cut the grits recipe in half.)  I find leftover grits much less appetizing, although many don't mind them at all.  Greens and caramelized onions both keep beautifully, so feel free to make a big batch of each up front.  (Caramelized onions freeze well, too -- I recommend making TONS in the fall, freezing them in 1/4-cup size plops on a parchment lined baking sheet, then transferring to a zip-top baggie to be enjoyed throughout the winter.)

What are your favorite toppings for grits?  What makes your workplace quirky?

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Grits club sounds AMAZING! And so do these grits. :) I actually have a big bunch of CSA collards in the crisper right now, so this may need to happen soon.