On Quora a number of questions have been asked with regard to making grits. I am not sure why it is such a mystery but I’ll go ahead and answer that question once and for all on my blog and later on just link to it from Quora when the question is asked again.
I am not from the South where grits are most popular and in fact due to my early experiences with grits I was not horribly fond of them. First time I had grits they were the instant out of a paper envelope type and my reaction “man I don’t see what Southerners see in this stuff.”
Many years after that experience I found myself in Mississippi in the late seventies when I went to one of my favorite types of restaurant to visit. A mom and pop greasy spoon breakfast joint with a counter to sit at. In fact there were more seats at the counter than there were at tables.
I ordered a plate of pork chops and eggs. What was put in front of me included a side of grits. Just like that without even asking me. Also on my plate were fried potatoes with peppers and onions (just like New England!) but the potatoes were seasoned with Cajun seasonings.
I put a spoon into the grits and my misgivings about grits disappeared in one mouthful. I now order grits where ever they are available because made correctly they are wonderful.
They are somewhat culinarily related to polenta of Italian fame.
Besides the basic recipe that follows you should add things to your grits to make them yummy. Some ideas:
- add butter and salt — this is basic.
- After cooking the grits on the stove take them off the heat and add butter, salt and an egg or two mixing immediately so the egg cooks in the hot grits.
- add salt, pepper, and garlic. Commonly done for shrimp and grits.
- add butter and salt and some sweetener (brown sugar, Karo, maple syrup, etc)
- 5 cups Water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup slow cooking grits
- Combine water with salt and bring to a boil over medium high heat
- Stir in the grits and reduce the heat to low
- Cover and cook until thickened 30 to 35 minutes
- Remove from heat and add your add-ins at this point