I am a bit of a Southern Girl, with roots that lie deep in the redneck, swamp-land, deep-home-cookin’ territory of southern Georgia. One of the staples of that area is grits. Now, for you western and northern folk, grits are a ground by-product of corn (hominy), that is cooked up like a hot cereal/porridge-style dish. It can be flavored with butter, salt, jalapenos, peppers, cheddar cheese, and many others. It can also be served 24/7. Of course, my favorite way is smothered in cheddar cheese, to the point that the cheese strings stick to the spoon, and served alongside some scrambled eggs and bacon.
Well, once we headed toward our current, mostly natural and organic lifestyle, one of the things I couldn’t find organic, but just couldn’t give up, was my old-fashioned grits.
Of course, coming from the modern and conventional version of old Mr. Quaker, who knows how old-fashioned and traditional they really were. Yet, I just couldn’t find an organic source, and few sites on the web offered any tips on how to make them. Until now.
That’s right! I stumbled upon a product, known as “corn polenta,” which included cooking directions that sounded almost identical to my long-loved grits. Well, I just happened to have a bag of whole corn kernels in my cupboard (I use it to make cornmeal and corn flour), so I decided to give it a try. I adjusted the dial on my Kitchen-Aid mill to a not-so-fine setting, such that it would just crack the corn into small bits. After some tweaking, I found a consistency I liked, and ground it all up.
I then mixed it with some salt in boiling water (based on standard grits measurements). I simmered it for about 45 minutes (longer than conventional grits), stirring regularly. It thickened up very nicely. Finally, I added a little cheddar, and we enjoyed it alongside a delicious, veggie-stuffed omelet.
I just have to say, I am totally hooked! The rich, corn flavor in these homemade grits was wonderful. I could actually have eaten them without cheese and liked it (unlike conventional grits, which are very bland tasting). So, now I can have my organic grits, and homemade at that!
Now if I could just learn to make those cursed Snicker’s bars organic and from scratch, I would totally be set!