Content of the material
- What Are Grits?
- Review this recipe
- Tips Tricks For Cooking Grits
- Flour and Sugar in Cornbread
- Make Cornbread, Not War
- How to Make Instant Pot Grits
- Grits vs. Polenta vs. Cornmeal: What Are the Differences?
- Playing with your acorn flour %
- How to make grits thinner?
- How to Cook Grits
- Best Grits Recipes
- Field Corn Varieties
What Are Grits?
Grits are a type of porridge made from ground, dried corn cooked slowly in simmering salted water. Traditionally, dent corn—a variety with a dent in the top of the kernel—was the star ingredient of this classic Southern dish because its relative softness makes it easy to grind.
Modern recipes feature an array of corn options: You can make the dish with hominy, stone-ground dried corn kernels, or instant grits made from pre-cooked and dehydrated corn. Adding cheese to the grits is a common way of serving this savory porridge. Once cooked, incorporate seasonings and add-ins, such as sausage, bacon, herbs, or spices.
Review this recipe
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Tips Tricks For Cooking Grits
- Grits can be made with plain water, but I really love to add a bit of whole milk to the water for the richness that it adds. If you prefer not to use the milk, just replace it with water or vegetable or chicken broth.
- Add the salt during the cooking process. This ensures that your grits will be properly seasoned.
- Add the grits slowly to the boiling water stirring constantly. This will prevent clumping and make silky, smooth grits.
- Bring the grits back to a boil, then reduce to low and cover the pot. This will reduce the cooking time by half.
Flour and Sugar in Cornbread
I feel as strongly about flour in my cornbread as I do sugar and feel that neither belong. Even the grand Gray Lady, the New York Times errs, offering a modification of Sean Brock’s typical Southern-style skillet cornbread stating, “Sean Brock of Husk restaurant in Charleston, S.C., uses a specific grind and brand of cornmeal to create a fluffy texture, though similar results can be had by using a blend of cornmeal and flour.” Which, I am sorry, is simply not true.
Make Cornbread, Not War
Long before Europeans arrived in the New World, Native Americans used ground corn in their cooking. Early American cookbooks refer to cornmeal as “Indian meal.” In many colonial recipes, cornmeal was cooked with water into a porridge or mush, then shaped into cakes and baked. Colonists would have seen cornmeal as inferior to wheat flour, but wheat production was difficult in New England and in much of the South, making wheat flour too expensive for regular use. Also, the high transportation costs were cost-prohibitive to shipping in wheat flour from wheat-growing regions. Colonists turned to other crops, especially corn. The high cost of wheat flour was not the only factor favoring cornmeal breads. Most baking took place either in Dutch ovens or in reflector ovens placed in the fireplace until the invention of the wood-fired cookstove in the 19th century. For those cooking in the hearth, it was easier to prepare cornbread as baked-hearth flatbreads.
How to Make Instant Pot Grits
I start with some stone ground grits, and I prefer the white corn grits. I got mine at Trader Joe’s. These may be a regional option here in sweet home Alabama. I am not sure if they carry these in other parts of the country.?Whatever the case, at my store they are near the steel cut oats and other hot cereals.
If you can’t find them in-store, here are some stone ground grits on Amazon. (affiliate link)
I add the grits, water, salt and pepper to the pot, and I stir to combine. I place the lid on and cook them at high pressure for ten minutes with a full natural release. My natural release took about sixteen minutes, FYI.
If you want plain grits, vegan grits or dairy free grits, you can cook those up and add some vegan/ dairy free butter, more salt and pepper if you wish, and call it a day. ??
To make garlic parmesan cheese grits, I add some garlic powder to the mixture above prior to cooking. Then when it is done, I add in the milk, butter and cheese. I add the milk afterward because it tends to scorch when pressure cooked. I am using 2%, but for more decadent grits, feel free to use half and half or heavy cream.
And I get the yummiest cheese grits! ???
I always taste them to see if they need more salt. You can garnish with a pat of butter, if you wish.
Grits vs. Polenta vs. Cornmeal: What Are the Differences?
The main difference between polenta and grits is the type of corn they feature. Grits come from soft dent corn, which can be white, blue, red, or yellow in hue. Dent corn has a high starch content, resulting in a creamy consistency once cooked. Conversely, polenta uses coarse- or medium-ground flint corn, a harder corn variety that provides a toothsome texture.
Both grits and polenta are technically types of cornmeal, or ground corn. However, the type of cornmeal that grocery stores sell typically gets milled to a finer texture, ideal for baking cornbread and cakes.
Playing with your acorn flour %This is super rich stuff. could even up the amount of acorn flour to 50 % if you want, but 1/3 is fine for me, any more ends up making a very heavy bowl of food.
How to make grits thinner?
If they come out too thick, you need to add liquid, and stir or whisk to combine. You can use either milk or water for this. Just add a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
How to Cook Grits
There are various methods to cook grits. Traditional, southern recipes are done on the stove top, under a watchful eye and frequent stirring.
If you need more of hands-off approach, there are other options that still yield delicious, creamy grits.
- Slow Cooker – This method works best with stone ground since they are coarser and can stand up to the long cooking time.
- Instant Pot – This is my favorite way to cook stone ground grits quickly and without having to stand by the stove.
- Stove Top – The traditional way to make grits has more control over the consistency because temperature and liquid can be adjusted during cooking.
- Oven Baked – Cooked grits are added to butter, cheese, and eggs to make baked grits casserole. If you love sweet potatoes, swap out the cornmeal with grits in Sweet Potato Spoon Bread recipe.
- Crispy Grit Cakes – Thick cheese grit cakes are baked until golden and crispy and a perfect accompaniment for an appetizer, with breakfast, or as dinner side dish.
Best Grits Recipes
- Shrimp and Grits – A southern, spicy, comfort meal-in-one.
- Sweet grits – Add brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup and top with fresh fruit.
- Cheese Grits – Stir in freshly grated cheddar, sharp cheddar, parmesan, colby jack, or pepper jack with butter and cream.
- Grits and Sausage Casserole – A great dish for brunch, holidays, weekend breakfasts, or breakfast-for-dinner night.
Field Corn Varieties
Along with the Bloody Butcher and Truckers Favorite, there are a couple of different field corn varieties that also work great for making your own corn meal and grits. The most popular variety of field corn is the Hickory King White Corn. This variety has been around for several years, producing 12 to 13-inch tall plants and two larger ears per plant reaching around 9 to 10 inches in length. The Blue Hopi Corn is a variety that produces unique deep royal blue ears in the vegetable garden. This heirloom variety has an excellent flavor and texture profile making it great for homemade corn chips, cornbread, and tortillas. The Wapsie Valley is an heirloom variety that contains bicolor ears such as copper red and yellow kernels. When ground the corn meal has a yellow tent with red flakes. It is a variety that is highly adaptable to several weather conditions and produces well-formed ears of corn in the vegetable garden.