Being a born and bred Northerner, I'm kind of a newbie to grits. They're just not something I've had all that much exposure to but for some reason I've been finding several long-ago clipped recipes for them in my trusty little folders, leading me to believe that there's a little bit of the South somewhere in me after all. And after one bite of these extremely easy-to-make cheesy-scallion-y version, I am declaring myself officially hooked, y'all! You've got to try them!
Mention grits to a Southerner and they'll get that certain look in their eye that New Yorkers get when they talk about their favorite bagels or pizza--they'll go on about what their favorite brand is, how long they should be cooked for, whether they're for breakfast or dinner... Suffice it to say, they're a food that stirs up a lot of passion and tradition. Me, I like 'em with a bit of butter and brown sugar for breakfast or as savory side for dinner. This version definitely falls into the savory camp and is an easy and inexpensive side or as a comforting lunch on a frigid day!
The grits only take about 20 minutes to cook and then you stir in shredded white cheddar and top with a little butter and plenty of scallions. They're creamy with a little bit of texture and the scallions and cheddar perfectly complement the starchy blandness of the grits. I could eat the whole bowl!
There's a certain person I know who LOVES grits--goes out of his way to find them and I believe has very strong feelings on the savory element of them--Partner, this one's for you!
Easy Scallion and Cheddar Grits
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 25-30 minutes
1 cup grits (not instant or quick-cooking)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 ounces white cheddar (1 cup) shredded or grated
2-3 scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Pour 4 1/4 cups water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the salt and slowly whisk in the grits. Lower the heat and let the grits cook at a low simmer for about 15-20 minutes, whisking frequently, until they thicken and start to come away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat.
2. Stir in the cheddar until fully melted. Then top with the scallions, butter and pepper. Serve immediately.
3. Leftovers can be reheated in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave and last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Note: Recipe adapted from Real Simple Best Recipes by Lygela Grace and Kate Merker.