The nitty gritty

And that shall be dinner tonight. Gonna throw back to my Southern roots, to a dish I can’t help but love and eat too infrequently – grits. The hearty stone ground variety is what I choose to buy, giving more texture and corn taste. I love grits and especially favor them when combined with cheese. We are going to make classic cheesy grits and top off the meal with a poached egg. Stomach, you’re welcome.

This may seem more of a breakfast/brunch dish, but considering I eat waffles for dinner, this should come as no surprise! We’re cooking regular grits, none of the instant stuff… not on my watch. We will make them traditionally using water, milk, butter and salt & pepper. I will also step-up the savory with a little dried thyme, paprika, fresh parsley, and cheddar cheese with bit of jalapeño.

Can we eat yet? Almost, because this is quick! The full cook variety takes about 30 min on the stove, and the poached eggs only a few. You could certainly add a little country sausage or bacon on the side if you fancy some additional protein. This would also be a good dinner with a side spinach salad. 

Cheesy Grits with Poached Egg

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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 2 servings of grits, and as many eggs as ya wanna poach!

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Southern grits meet cheese & a poached egg. Could there be a more satisfying dish? Breakfast or dinner,. We will make a savory dinner out of this and kick it up with jalapeño cheddar cheese and some fresh parsley. This is going to be good guys...

What to get...

  • *This amount will serve 2 smaller portions of grits, I recommend doubling.
  • 1/2 cup stone ground white grits (not instant!)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk (or half & half)
  • 2 T butter
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or blend like jalapeño cheddar!)
  • 2 T shredded parmesan cheese
  • Seasonings:
  • S&P
  • dash dried thyme
  • dash paprika
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped parsley (for garnish)
  • 2 eggs, for poaching (or one per person)
  • silicon egg poaching cups if you have them!
  • water in a shallow pan with lid
  • slotted spoon for spooning & draining egg from water
  • Multigrain Sourdough bread for toasting, serving with meal.

What to do...

    Cook stone ground grits on stove:
  1. In a pot on stove combine water, butter, S&P till a gentle boil begins, then add the grits slowly, stirring.
  2. Let pot regain low boil, then reduce heat to lowest setting, cover pot and cook for 20 min stirring every few minutes well.
  3. after 20 min, add the milk of half-&-half and cook 10 more minutes covered, stirring.
  4. Add the cheeses and combine well.
  5. Poach eggs for top of grits:
  6. In shallow skillet with lid, add about 2-3 inches water, salt and bring to a low boil.
  7. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer.
  8. Crack egg in a heat proof little bowl, and deposit slowly & carefully into water, OR into a buttered silicon egg poaching cup (what I am using)
  9. *If using the silicon cup, since egg isn't in direct contact with water, you'll need to place lid on pan to 'steam' the egg through.
  10. *If directly in water, once egg is deposited into water, spoon whites around yolk to keep together and from spreading.
  11. * You can add a 1/2 tsp vinegar into water to help congeal the whites within the pan.
  12. Cook for about 3 minutes, till whites appear firm, but yolk still is movable within, if you like runny yolks! (how I like them). For firmer eggs, simply cook a min or so longer.
  13. Remove from water with a slotted spoon (in case of cups, carefully remove with tongs or ladle)
  14. Toast sourdough bread and lightly spread with butter.
  15. Dish cheesy grits into bowl, topping with a little dried thyme, add poached add to top and sprinkle with paprika & freshly chopped parsley.
  16. Eat with the crisp toasted sourdough bread.
  17. Enjoy!

Notes

I use silicon egg poaching cups (which I grease with a little butter), which are easy, but you can easily cook them right in the water. I also use full cook, stone ground grits, the instant are not an option in my kitchen! I love to add cheese for a rich meal, but these are good simply with butter! I would double-up on the grits if you want a large portion, this amount of grits served 2 small dishes or one fairly large. I would just double that and poach eggs per number of people!

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If you are unfamiliar with the little white grain, they are essentially ground corn, and grits as they are known, are alone gluten free and vegan. (but if that is where you want to go with this, you’re going to have to cook them without the butter and milk and skip that cheese!) I am not vegan, so we’re gonna carry-on with the dairy! They are of Native American origin and resemble the taste of ploenta and hominy, also corn-based. These can be eaten alone or jazzed-up like oatmeal with brown sugar and butter for a morning meal. Consistency can be controlled by adding or omitting fluid like water or milk. We will keep our dinner portion on the thicker side with some jalapeño cheddar cheese & a little parm.

I eat poached eggs on the runny-side and nothing compliments the comforting richness of cheesy jalapeño grits better than a sightly undercooked egg yolk. We will step-up the texture contrast with a little toasted multigrain-sourdough bread. I think I might have seconds….

 Savory & spot-on; cheese, egg, delicious, more please! …and we have a great meal that family & friends will be asking for seconds. Make extra…

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