I can probably count on one hand the number of people I know that have grits as a regular part of their diet. And 3 of those people are Lulu, Cody and me. What’s the deal? How did this staple of the southern USA not make it into the mainstream? I guess someone besides us must eat them because most of the larger grocery stores carry them and I doubt that they’re just waiting for us to show up. However, Safeway used to carry 2 kinds: Alber’s Quick Grits and Quaker Instant Grits. Now they just carry the Quaker brand which wouldn’t be my first choice.
Alber’s is the brand I knew as a kid and is still the brand I look for. I noticed the other day that the Oceana co-op carries corn grits (as opposed to hominy grits) in bulk so we’ll probably stock up on some of those since we like the color.
So how do we use grits? Well some folks like them as a cereal with milk, sugar, maybe some raisins or something. Not my thing however. Here’s how I fix grits:
While they’re cooking (1 part grits to 4 parts water) I add some dried onions and hot red pepper flakes. This morning I also added some leftover cooked sausage that we had left after making pizza earlier in the week. Once the grits are nice and thick, we plate them and top them with salt, pepper, a generous dollop of butter and then a couple of over-medium cackleberries. Yum-o-rama! Don’t get me wrong, fried spuds and onions are still my first choice for breakfast. The onions need to cook long enough to get nicely carmelized with at least a few getting black and the spuds should be slightly crispy on at least a couple of edges and nice and creamy inside. But, this just takes too long for an everyday breakfast. That’s where the grits come to the fore. From beginning to end, I can have grits and eggs on my plate in less than 10 minutes and that includes going out into the cockpit to turn the gas on and then back off again. Takes a little longer if I’m cooking for Lulu as well but she usually eats granola. Not because she doesn’t love grits, she just really loves granola.
So give ’em a try. All those southerners can’t be wrong can they? Well, maybe. I’ve never actually tried chitlins.