Grits are a long-overlooked food. When they are spoken of the tone seems to take on a negative connotation. They’re just filler food, if you don’t have enough money for anything else than you eat grits and if you cook them with water I can’t think of much worse. It’s true, grits are just cornmeal, but that’s what polenta is too and polenta is served in excellent Italian restaurants.
I must admit, I hadn’t given a second thought to grits until I came to the South and in the South they are everywhere. Every third shop in Charleston seems to have a cookbook for Shrimp and Grits proudly displayed. But I was still dubious. Until I ate at Husk, one of Charleston’s top restaurants.
As a side they served the most divine airy, fluffy grit ambrosia. They made a believer out of me. The next day at Marion farmer’s market the Colonial Charleston Kitchen booth was making grits sample cups. Sato San tried one and immediately bought a bag.
I am not sure I will ever get my grits as light and airy as the ones I tasted at Husk, but the trick to tasty grits is to dress them up and to cook them til there isn’t a smidge of grit left in the grits. Milk, cream if you have it, and don’t skimp on the seasoning. This is my take on the Colonial Charleston Kitchen’s grits recipe. You can add a little more liquid to thin it up a bit or cook them down and refrigerate for a solid polenta-type side dish.
Gaff Cheesy Grits