Grits recipes for when you’re not in a hurry


By Vallery Lomas, The New York Times

Grits are a beloved staple in many Southerners’ diets, a quintessential grain rivaled only by rice. But some say that they don’t have any defining taste, or that their texture is clumpy or congealed. Clearly, those detractors have never had stone-ground grits, which have way more flavor and texture than their instant or quick-cooking counterparts.

Unlike more typical quick-cooking varieties, stone-ground grits are cooked slowly on a stovetop, with an occasional stir. There’s something serene about watching them simmer on a weekend morning until they turn gorgeously creamy and start to pop, their popcorn-like aroma filling the air.

And they can have so much range. “For holidays, my granny Freddie Mae would make glorified grits — a soufflé,” said Carla Hall, the chef and Nashville, Tennessee, native. But on a day-to-day basis, she said, they “were just another porridge.”

Corn grits aren’t complicated: They’re just milled dent corn. Unlike the sweet corn that is eaten off the cob or in salads like succotash, dent corn has a high soft-starch content, making it ideal for the hot-cereal consistency of grits. But, whether you are serving a humble bowl of white grits for breakfast or making shrimp and grits for dinner or brunch, the quality of both the crop and the milling process will determine how flavorful they are and the resulting texture.

Grits play a significant role in Black history. During enslavement and in the decades after, corn was an essential crop for Black farmers, who both grew and coarsely milled the kernels. “The best millers were all Black,” said Glenn Roberts, founder and owner of Anson Mills, the South Carolina company known for its grits.


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