How to Cook Grits

Do you know how to cook grits? That is a popular question all through the South. Before my first visit to Florida, I had never heard of grits. When stopping to eat along the way, we were constantly encouraged to try them. I was a young wife and mother and really wasn’t interested seeing all the other good food on the menu. Remember, it was rare that we ever ate in a restaurant. I certainly did not want to waste this opportunity on something which sounded “not so good”.

How to Cook GritsHow to Cook Grits

By the time we arrived in Florida, I knew a lot about the history of this popular food. The fame of grits all throughout southern United States is attributed to the Native American Indians. Grits are made by grinding dried corn into a fine to coarse texture.  Grits are now readily available for purchase in the supermarkets. Most common are the “instant or quick cooking grits”. This type is made from the corn which has been hulled and the germ removed.

Since I learned how to cook grits I learned that I do not care for the instant or quick cooking type. Many restaurants do serve this easy to fix type. I realized that this is what really turned me off from the beginning. The look of this instant type, when presented is like a very fine white porridge.  I am not saying to never use this type but they need a lot of other ingredients to “doctor” them up. Lots of butter, cheese and seasoning will help. When I finally tried good home cooked grits made from the old fashioned or stone ground grits, I found out why everyone is so “hooked” on this food.  They are delicious!

When I learned how to cook grits, I found it is just as easy and not much longer to cook the regular uncooked version of grits.  I love grits cooked in many different types of recipes. Grits are really popular for breakfast alongside bacon, sausage or ham with eggs. They also make great side dishes when dressed up with cheese and/or vegetables. Great casseroles can be served also as side dishes but also as a main entre dish. Most of the time grits can be cooked on the stove top but sometimes are baked as well like the casseroles. Creamy grits also make delicious sweet puddings.

NOTE: When learning how to cook grits, stir occasionally to keep from sticking and watch for drying too much.
NOTE: When learning how to cook grits try using different types of cheese in them. Some good ones are Cheddar, Parmesan, Boursin, Gruyere, Swiss and cream cheese with and without seasonings.

HOW TO COOK GRITS WITH SHRIMP

How to Cook Grits with ShrimpHow to Cook Grits with Shrimp

Learn how to cook grits as a main entree.

Grits

  • 1 Cup stone ground grits
  • 4 ½ Cups water
  • 4 Bouillon cubes (Fish or chicken)

Shrimp

  • 6 Slices bacon (Chop)
  • 2 pounds large shrimp (Peel, devein, remove tails)
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 ½ Cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 Large cloves minced garlic
  • 3 Teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 Teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ Cup thinly sliced green onion
NOTE:

Cook grits first because the shrimp does not take long.
START GRITS by combining water and bouillon in large saucepan.
Bring mixture to a boil and stir until bouillon is dissolved.
Gradually add grit while stirring briskly; REDUCE HEAT to low.
Cook stirring constantly until thickened about 35 minutes.
FOR SHRIMP first brown bacon pieces in skillet stirring occasionally until crisp.
Drain bacon on paper towels reserving bacon fat in skillet.
NOTE: You will need 2 to 3 tablespoons. Add oil if needed to make this amount.
Toss the shrimp in flour until lightly coated shaking off excess.
Cook shrimp in skillet over medium high heat until pink; remove to plate.
NOTE: Cook shrimp quickly about 1 minute turning over one time. (Do not overcook).
Add mushrooms and bacon pieces to skillet; cook and stir 1 minute.
Stir in the garlic; add hot sauce, lemon juice and green onion stirring to blend.
Return shrimp to skillet with mixture; stir 1 minutes until and remove from heat.
Serve immediately over cooked grits; serves 6.


SAUSAGE AND GRITS

Sausage and GritsSausage and Grits
Sausage and GritsSausage and Grits

Learn how to cook grits in a baking dish.

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup regular grits
  • 1 Pound ground sausage
  • 1 Chopped onion
  • 2 Cans (7 Ounces) chopped green chilies (not drained)
  • ½ Cup butter
  • 2 Beaten eggs
  • 2 Cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 10 Dashes red hot sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ Cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Garnish: Additional grated cheese, chilies and paprika

Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
Combine water and salt in medium saucepan; bring to a boil.
Add grits and cook until thickened about 20 to 25 minutes.
In skillet sauté sausage stirring into small pieces until done.
Remove sausage from skillet and drain leaving the fat.
Add onion to skillet; sauté until tender and drain.
Add onion and chilies (reserve some for topping) to cooked sausage; set aside.
Add the butter, eggs, cheese and hot sauce to the grits; stir in.
Combine the sausage mixture with the grit mixture;
Pour mixture into a 9X13 inch baking dish.
Top with additional grated cheese, chilies, paprika.
Top mixture with parsley and bake for about 45 minutes.

Makes about 12 cups.


SHRIMP BUTTER RECIPE

Learn how to cook grits by making this shrimp butter to serve over plain cooked grits.

  • ½ Pound softened butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sherry
  • ½ Teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 Teaspoon seasoned salt
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 Packages (3 Ounces each) softened cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 Pound shrimp (Shelled, deveined, cooked)

Combine butter and next 7 ingredients in food processor.
Process until well blended; add shrimp to mixture.
Process until shrimp is only chunky; serve with hot grits.
Makes 4 cups.


BREAKFAST CHEESE GRITS

4 ½ Cups water
1 Cup stone ground grits
1 Teaspoon salt
¾ Cup grated Cheddar cheese
¼ Cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons butter
½ Teaspoon fresh ground pepper
½ Teaspoon Tabasco


GARLIC CHEESE GRITS

  • 4 Cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Cup regular grits (Not instant)
  • ½ Cup butter
  • 6 Ounces garlic cheese
  • 8 Ounces sharp Cheddar (Grated)
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Paprika

Combine salt and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil.
Add grits; REDUCE HEAT, cover and simmer 30 to 40 minutes until thickened.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.
Add to grits butter, cheeses and Worcestershire sauce.
Stir mixture until butter and cheese melts; place in a greased baking dish.
Sprinkle with paprika and bake 15 to 20 minutes; serves 8 to 10.


CREAMY BAKED GRITS

Learn how to cook grits with Boursin cheese.

  • 6 Cups water
  • 1 Cup [yellow stone ground grits
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons black pepper
  • ¼ Cup softened butter
  • ¼ Cup heavy cream
  • 1 Package (5.2 Ounces) Boursin cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon hot pepper sauce

In a medium saucepan bring water to a boil over high heat.
REDUCE HEAT to medium; add grits, salt and pepper.
Whisk mixture constantly until it returns to a boil; REDUCE to LOW.
Simmer stirring occasionally until thickened about 45 minutes.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.
Add the butter and cream; whisk until well blended.
Stir in the cheese and hot sauce until cheese is melted and smooth.
Pour into 8 ramekins (4 Ounces each) or 1 Quart baking dish.
Bake ramekins for 20 minutes (Or 30 minutes for quart); serves 8.


GREENS AND GRITS RECIPE

Grits

  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 3 Cups chicken broth
  • 1 Cup stone ground grits
  • ¼ to ½ Cup milk

Greens

  • 1 Pound fresh collard greens
  • 1 Cup chicken broth
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 1 ½ Cups fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Slices bacon (Cook crisp and crumble)

FOR GRITS combine in a large saucepan the chicken broth and cream.
Bring to a boil and stir in the grits; stir and cook until boil returns.
REDUCE HEAT, cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes stirring often.
Gradually stir in milk for desired thickness; stir in butter, cheese and pepper.
FOR GREENS remove and discard stems and discolored spots.
Wash greens thoroughly; drain and cut into pieces.
Combine the greens and 1 cup chicken broth in large skillet; bring to boil.
Cover skillet, REDUCE HEAT and simmer 5 minutes until tender.
Drain the greens and plunge into ice water; drain well on paper towels.
Stir greens into grits mixture; cook until thoroughly heated.
Place mixture in serving dish and garnish with bacon; serves 6 to 8.


CHICKEN AND GRITS

Learn how to cook grits with chicken.

  • 2 Cups cooked chicken (Cut into small pieces)
  • 1 Cup regular grits
  • 1 Quart chicken broth
  • 1 Jar (8 Ounces) process cheese spread
  • 3 Beaten eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon poultry seasoning

In a large saucepan bring broth to a boil; stir in grits.
REDUCE HEAT, cover and simmer until thickened about 40 minutes.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.
Add chicken, cheese, eggs and seasoning; stir to blend.
Pour mixture into a greased baking dish 7X11 inches.
Bake for 30 minutes; serves 4 to 6.


ROSEMARY MUSHROOM GRITS

Learn how to cook grits with this easy “make a head” recipe.

  • 2 Cans (14.5 Ounces) beef broth
  • ¾ Cup regular grits
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic (Divided)
  • ¾ Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons butter
  • 1 ¼ Teaspoons black pepper (Divided)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Fresh rosemary sprig (Chopped)
  • 2 Cups fresh shiitake mushrooms (Sliced)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ Teaspoon salt

Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in grits and 1 CLOVE garlic.
Cover, REDUCE HEAT and simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat; add cheese, butter and 1 TEASPOON black pepper.
Stir mixture until cheese melts; set aside.
Cook 1 CLOVE garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Stir constantly until tender; REDUCE HEAT to medium.
Add rosemary and mushrooms; cook until browned about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in parsley, salt and ¼ TEASPOON pepper and cool.
Spoon half of grits into a lightly greased 9X13 dish; top with mushroom mixture;
Spoon remaining half of grits over the top; cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.
TO SERVE cut into squares; broil 5 ½ inches under the heat for 5 minutes.
NOTE: For electric oven broiler leave oven door slightly opened.
Serves 8.


SPINACH AND HAM GRITS

Learn how to cook grits with lots of garlic flavor.1 Whole bulb garlic

  • 3 Teaspoons olive oil
  • 1Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 Ounces ham (Cut in ¼ inch strips)
  • 3 ½ Cups chicken broth
  • 1 Cup regular grits
  • ½ Cup butter
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 Package (10 Ounces) frozen chopped spinach (Thaw and drain)
  • ¼ Cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
TO PREPARE GARLIC cut off flat end of garlic bulb.
Spread apart cloves leaving on tight outer covering.
Trim pointed end so bulb will sit flat in small ovenproof dish.
Drizzle garlic bulb with olive oil; cover with lid or foil.
Bake for 1 hour until golden; cool.
Squeeze the pulp out from each clove of garlic into food processor.
Process until smooth; set aside.
FOR HAM cook in vegetable oil in skillet over medium high heat.
Stir ham constantly until browned; drain on paper towels and set aside.
FOR GRITS bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan; stir in grits.
Cook over medium heat until thickened (About 40 minutes) stirring often.
PREHEAT OVEN 350F degrees.
Remove grits form the heat; add garlic puree, butter, salt and pepper.
Combine milk and eggs and stir into the grits; fold in ham, Swiss and spinach.
Grease 11X7 inch baking dish; sprinkle bottom and side with Parmesan cheese.
Spoon grits mixture evenly into dish; bake for 45 minutes until puffed and firm.
Serve immediately; serves 8.


BACON AND TOMATO GRITS

  • 8 Slices bacon
  • 1 Medium onion (Finely chopped)
  • 1 Green bell pepper (Finely chopped)
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) chopped tomatoes (Not drained)
  • 6 Cups water
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups regular grits
  • 2 Cloves fresh minced garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon dried basil

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; drain bacon on paper towel.
Crumble bacon and set aside; reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet.
Add onion and green pepper to skillet; sauté until tender.
Add tomatoes, garlic and basil to skillet; bring to boil, REDUCE HEAT, simmer 30 minutes.
Bring water and salt to a boil; add grits and simmer until thickened about 30 minutes.
Remove grits from heat and stir in tomato mixture; spoon into serving dishes.
Serves 8.


SWEET GRITS PUDDING

Learn how to cook grits making a sweet pudding.

  • 1 Cup water
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Cup quick cooking grits
  • 2 Cups milk
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup raisins
  • 1 Teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine water and salt in medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat.
Gradually stir in the grits; cook and stir occasionally for 5 minutes.
Gradually stir in the milk returning to a boil; remove from heat.
Stir in the butter and set aside; PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.
Beat eggs and sugar until frothy and light; stir in ¼ of hot mixture slowly.
Return egg mixture to the remaining hot mixture stirring constantly; stir in raisins.
Pour mixture into a buttered 1 ½ -2 quart baking dish; place in larger pan.
Pour hot water into larger pan to 1 inch depth; bake for 1 hour stirring 3 times.
Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve; serves 4 to 6.

› Grits

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