Kiss my grits! (As Flo would say)
In case you don’t know who Flo is she was a waitress in the sitcom “Alice” many, many years ago. Can’t say that was a favorite show of mine but I can’t forget her telling people to “kiss my grits”.
Back in April I took a trip to Savannah with my twin sister and two friends from high school, Pauletta and Judy. We had such a great time and can’t wait to get together again. Funny, one of Pauletta’s walking friends asked her what she was going to talk to friends about that she had not seen for 40 years. Well, we never quit talking. It was fun reliving the past, hearing about everyone’s grandkids, and what the future holds for all of us.
Did we ever eat some good food while there! What is it about a “Southern” menu that you will always find shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes and some good pimento cheese in with all your menu items making it even harder to decide what to order. I can’t pass up grits, I can’t pass up pimento cheese and I certainly can’t pass up trying someone’s fried green tomatoes. I had a great stack of tomatoes on our last day there that I can’t wait to try to recreate.
When we toured the Mercer House we heard stories about when Jim Williams lived there (remember the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and he was accused of murder) and the parties he would give and one of his favorite things his caterer Lucille Wright (the most sought after caterer in Savannah) would make was shrimp and grits and pumpkin cornbread. I may be giving that pumpkin cornbread a try in the Fall so keep a lookout for it.
What I loved most about Savannah other than the food and all the cool little shops was all the moss hanging from the trees; made me want to pack some up and take it back to Texas and throw it on my palm tree. Now, that would be a sight wouldn’t it.
Cheese and grits have always been on my menus as a side dish with BBQ but I wanted to try to make some grits that I could serve with anything. This recipe does exactly that. You can eat them for breakfast, serve with a steak or some good grilled fish or just make for any reason. We had them for breakfast the day I was experimenting with the recipe.
These stone ground grits did not come from Savannah though. They came from Charleston where my sister and I first bought them and they are a yellow and white blend, stone ground, not pulverized which can now be purchased from Food for Southern Soul.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Try my Peanut Noodle Salad sometime this summer for an easy side dish to any grilled meat.
Just look at these yellow/white grits. They are going to be delicious in this recipe.
Have everything chopped, shredded and sliced.
Bring the chicken broth and milk to a boil, then add the grits, jalapeños and sun-dried tomatoes.
After they have cooked awhile (see recipe) add in the fontina cheese and the extra sliced cherry tomatoes.
Pour into butter dishes and bake at 425° until hot, bubbly and starting to brown.
- 2 c. chicken broth
- 1/2 c. milk
- 1 c. stone ground grits
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 c. sun dried tomatoes, chopped small
- 1 c. grated fontina cheese
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- sliced multi colored cherry tomatoes
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 3-4 slices bacon, reserve fat (see note below)
- Fry the bacon, drain and crumble. Set aside.
- Put the chicken broth and the milk in sauce pan and bring to boil. Add the grits and jalapeño pepper and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add in the garlic powder and the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for another 5-6 minutes then add in the fontina cheese and maybe 1/2 cup of the sliced cherry tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes longer then add in the crumbled bacon and the 3 tablespoons of butter. Stir.
- Butter individual ramekins (or baking dish) and pour in the mixture.
- I topped the individual ramekins with a few of the multi color tomato slices and a piece of bacon.
- Put in 425° oven for 5-6 minutes until they start to bubble and turn brown.
- Remove from oven and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
- The next time I try this recipe I am substituting 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat for the butter that I add in at the end of cooking. I think that will give a more rich bacon taste.