Grits with Corn and Onion Greens

A dear friend of mine from Alabama called me recently and demanded to know, “why aren’t there any grits on your site?!” Uh, because I’m not Southern and I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about when it comes to grits and I can’t even try to fake it with our readers? Well, not knowing what we are doing has never stopped us in the past, and my dear ole dad found a recipe for grits he couldn’t pass up. This was so good I made him make it twice. What I have learned in researching grits is that people who grew up eating them are passionate about how they like them – white corn, hominy grits, with syrup for breakfast, etc. So, if you have a particular way that you like your grits, please let us know about it in the comments.

By the way, according to NBC, Michael Phelps eats grits for breakfast, along with several fried egg sandwiches, an omelet, three slices of French toast, and a stack of chocolate chip pancakes. Breakfast of champions.

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Grits with Corn and Onion Greens Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, grated
  • 1 cup whole corn kernels, either frozen or freshly cut from the cob
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup stone-ground or coarse-ground grits
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh green onion greens

Method

1 Heat the oil n a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the grated onion and cook, stirring, until transparent, about 2 minutes. Add the corn kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kernels become soft, about 5 minutes.

2 Add the milk, water, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Whisk in the grits, decrease the heat to low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the grits are creamy and thick, 45 to 60 minutes. Stir in the butter, Parmesan, parsley, and chopped green onions. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.

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Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, Y'All: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking by Virginia Willis.

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108 Comments

  1. SAS

    Yay, yay, yay! I admit it! I’m the one that demanded that Elise come up with a recipe for grits! What kind of legitimate recipe site is complete without one?!

    Although, this one is fancier than the “recipe” I use. I just follow the directions on the package, and add whatever cheese I have on hand (usually a shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar blend), butter, salt and pepper to taste, and fresh herbs. My favorite herbs to add are tarragon and dill, together, although any fresh herbs that you like will suffice.

    My people will be proud, Elise! Go grits!!

  2. Bob

    You know, I have never had grits. I could blame it on not being from the south… and I think I will. :) But this looks good, I will have to try it.

  3. Rhonda

    I have never had grits any other way except with butter and sugar. One day I’ll try them another way, but for now that’s all that works for me. I’m in central Texas, and if grits are served here, they are pretty much eaten like oatmeal. I guess it depends on where in the south you are from. This recipe does look good, though.

  4. Meredith

    I’m from Mississippi and there’s absolutely no way sugar would come near my bowl of grits (sorry, Rhonda). We always ate them for breakfast with butter and salt. Then, there’s always Shrimp and Grits (don’t knock it until you try it) and hundreds of varieties of cheese grit casseroles (ask any churchgoing lady of a certain age for her recipe).

  5. Lynn

    I grew up in OR. I had never tasted grits until I got married to my husband who grew up in OK. He loves grits. It took me a while to like them, but now I do. We like them for breakfast served with soft boiled or over easy eggs and maybe a little cheese on top. My husband adds a little hot sauce. My favorite way to cook them is in the crockpot over night. I post about it recently. Here is the link if you are interested.
    http://lynnskitchenadventures.blogspot.com/2008/05/new-favorite-breakfast.html

  6. Ben

    As a native of the south, one could say that grits are in my blood. That said, I never really liked them as a breakfast food when I was growing up; I thought they were just a boring accompaniment to the everything else on the breakfast table. However, I have always loved cheese grits with dinner, particularly with a really nice, smoky pork chop.

    It wasn’t until I had Anson Mills grits the first time at Bacchanalia in Atlanta that I really understood how good grits can be. The Anson Mill people grow heirloom corn (grown from seeds they have collect from former moonshiners in SC) and then use an extra course grind that turns an otherwise ordinary dish of plain grits into one of the most deliciously creamy and corny things I have ever tasted. They take about an hour to cook, but they’re so worth it.

    Fortunately, you can save yourself a trip to Bacchanalia and order Anson Mills grits online. Just be sure to read the instructions before making them–they require a lot more attention that your generic Aunt Jemima Quick Grits.

    On a tangential note, anyone that complains grits are too pedestrian for their tastes (or, better yet, says they are “only eaten by [trailer|po’ white] trash”), but enjoys a nice creamy polenta deserves a swift kick to the teeth. Seriously.

  7. amanda

    Damn, I wish I was an olympic male swimmer! I saw that clip too. Nuts!

  8. Georgia

    We have grits different ways. My husband grew up eating grits but in my family it was cornmeal mush. Both were eaten as a hot cereal with butter, sugar and milk. What was left of the mush my Mom put it into a loaf pan to harden then sliced it and floured it and fried it in bacon grease. That was before anyone worried about cholesterol. My husband loves grits with two soft poached eggs on top. I make Osso Bucco (not sure about that spelling) dish that we put on top of cheese and garlic grits.

  9. Mary Ellen

    I grew up eating them w/ butter, salt and pepper. And preferably w/ over medium eggs so you can bust the yolk into the grits and eat it all together.

  10. Susan at StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

    I’m from the South and I love grits! These look really tasty. I’ll bet the onion adds a lot of flavor. The only thing that could make them even better is frying them in bacon fat instead of oil. ;)

  11. Lindsay

    Even though I love southern cuisine, I have never had grits before! Can’t wait to make this recipe.

  12. Mary Frances

    Sugar on grits? Bleh. Butter, salt, pepper, and maybe some shredded cheese is all that’s needed. Andy maybe a sunny-side egg on top =) At least for this Alabama girl.

  13. Ian

    Hooraay Grits!! I always feel like it’s a treat when we run out of bread for toast and I end up making grits and a fried egg for my weekend breakfast. I grew up in Atlanta, and developed a taste for fried hominy, okra, and grits that persists.

    Never sugary, always savory, and the simpler the better. While cheese grits or shrimp grits are nice, you just can’t get the true corn flavor as much as thick grits, a melting pat of butter, and a pinch of salt.

  14. jonathan

    As I type, Michael Phelps has just won his fifth gold of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

    And all on a carbo-load diet that would put me in Sansa Belt slacks faster than you can say 200 meter relay.

    Life can be unfair like that.

    As far as my grits, butter and honey or syrup is just about right.

  15. laurie

    I’m temporarily from the South thanks to the Military. One thing I’ve seen a lot of has been Shrimp and Grits – in Pensacola, Fl; Jacksonville, NC; and now Beaufort, SC. Grits with lots of white cheese stirred in and shrimp on top; sometimes with tomatoes and basil; sometimes with portobellas.

    It seems to me that more and more places down here are using them (grits) in a way similar to polenta, as a textured warm neutral base for carrying all sorts of flavors.

  16. Christie

    I live (and grew up) in Georgia so I am very familiar with grits. My family serves them savory (never sweet) usually with cheese and as a side dish for breakfast. We often stir other breakfast food into them (sausage, bacon, eggs, etc) as we eat. We also use salt and butter.

    I just really can’t consider a sweet application of grits but this recipe sounds good. Thanks!

  17. Keelzorz

    Hooray grits! They aren’t too common where I grew up in Maryland (and don’t think of it in Massachusetts!), but the instant I moved to North Carolina, I took to ‘em like a duck to water. I blame my father’s upbringing in Alabama; he never made them for me, but I think grits may be in my genes :)

    I tried the syrup approach the other night (Denny’s, poor grits but better than none) and couldn’t do it. Butter, salt & pepper and you’re good as gold, especially with a good biscuit and fresh eggs. But shrimp’n’grits? Love!

    Now I can’t wait for my turn at carbs in my potluck circle – I may just pull your some “fancy pants” grits :D

  18. Christie

    I grew up and still live in New Orleans and know that I can get good grits at the local breakfast place as well as the finest restaurants. We eat them all kinds of ways (except sweet). As a matter of fact, eating oatmeal for breakfast sounds quite odd to me. Last weekend, we cooked a big batch of smoked gouda grits for my extended family. My brother and I both love to cook that one.

  19. Linda

    Cheese grits with fried fish fillets for this Alabama gal! The best side dish instead of fried potatoes. Sweetened grits? Never! Only butter, salt, pepper and sometimes cheese to go with biscuits, eggs and sausage. Your recipe looks interesting. Also, thanks to Lynn for posting her crockpot version.

  20. Sarah

    My mom makes a delicious baked grits dish every Christmas. I’m not sure how to make it, but I know it has sharp cheddar, lots of butter, and some tabasco sauce in it.

    As a child, one of my favorite breakfasts was instant grits with shredded cheddar melted on top. (instant – I know it’s tacky, but I like them) I still like them with cheddar and salt best. My family is from Kansas and Texas and we never ate grits with sugar! We moved to the midwest though and all my friends from Canada and Michigan don’t know what to do with grits, so they top them like oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins . . . that’s so weird to me. Whatever makes you happy I guess!

  21. Ann

    We like grits for breakfast, and I add a chopped jalapeno, some diced ham and put a little cheese on the top of each serving.

  22. Steph

    I love grits! I have lived my whole life in Georgia, sad I know, and grits were a staple in my house. I grew up eating grits with lots of butter and a little salt. I now love them with sharp cheddar grated on top. I can see how people can think they are bland but when you grow up eating them they become a comfort food.

  23. Fermat

    Grits with green chile, cheddar cheese and a touch of garlic are my favorite. Although red chile sauce is pretty good too. But just plain with butter, salt, and pepper topped with fried eggs is how I ate them growing up. Comfort food for breakfast.

  24. Acher

    Ooohhh- grits. I grew up in Southern Illinois, which really wants to be the south but just isn’t quite. But, we still ate grits. Shrimp and grits is one of my FAVORITE MEALS EVER. I live in Chicago now, but every time I go south, I eat shrimp and grits. Sometimes more than once on the same trip.

  25. Michelle

    There are two kinds of people, sweet grits eaters and savory grits eaters, I fall into the latter group and actually cringe a bit when I come across a member of the former group. I guess it all depends on how your parents ate them. When I lived at home during law school my brothers thought that grits was the only thing I knew how to cook (it was the only think I did cook during those years). I like to make mine with milk or a mix of milk or cream or half & half and water, depending what’s in the house (i.e. skim or lowfat milk gets 100% milk)

    Always with cheese and a shot of garlic and fresh ground pepper.

    BTW, The Fish House in Pensacola has the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever eaten!

  26. Paul

    This Pennsylvania Yankee loves grits but in an unorthodox way. We have Cream of Wheat and Cream of Rice so I always regarded grits as Cream of White Corn. Just like Northern cornbread, I’ve always sweetened up my breakfast bowl with brown sugar and butter.

    But,I learned the hard way. I was called as an expert witness to testify in a 1995 court case in Hickory, North Carolina. The plaintiffs flew me down and provided all meals, including breakfast at the local waffle house (wish we had those). I ordered grits and was a bit surprised by the red eye gravy that thwarted my intentions of pouring on the syrup. My host whispered that doing so would be the best way to re-start the Civil War.

    OK, so they are more mashed potatoes than hot cereal. Got it. And I’ll never do it again (at least in public down South.) But the recipe with green onions is a must try.!

  27. Mary

    I am a native Texan and love my grits; must be good and salty and not soupy at all, and preferably accompanied by a couple of good juicy eggs however one cooks them. However, the closest I have ever come to Grits Heaven is in a local steak restaurant that offers Truffled Parmesan Grits as an alternative to potatoes with the entree. Bless their hearts, they don’t overdo the truffle or cheese flavor, using just enough to send the grits over the top. Now I want them every time I see a potato on my plate!

  28. Peggy Lea Gosnell

    I like to make my grits with Salsa! I put in about two tablespoons for a single serving ~ since I’m the only one in the house that loves grits. I use a variety of salsas depending on my mood. This is also good for opening up your sinuses in the morning! When I travel, I like to go to the Cracker Barrell and have Catfish, grits and fried okra for breakfast. My sister would make grits and stir in some salmon as they sometimes do down in Georgia and Florida!

  29. Billy

    Grits, ya man. Try grits cooked slow I mean real slow 1 or 2 hours (great for supper, that southern for dinner). Serve with Jimmy Dean sage sausage,srired in the grits. Jimmy Dean is as close as I can find to the kind we made on the farm.

  30. nia

    I live in Pennsylvania, but went to undergrad in Atlanta. The first morning I went to the cafeteria for breakfast, and the options were plain grits, cheese grits, oatmeal, eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits. The oatmeal looked a little suspect so I went with the cheese grits. They were great and I have been a fan ever since. When I make them myself I like to put cheese in them and have shrimp or fish on the side. Simple yet elegant is the best way to have breakfast with grits.

  31. Lee

    Yes, we Southerners lllloooovvvveeee our grits!!!
    And I’ve had them many ways, but not like this.
    I’ve found it to be a very good side for supper, especially with ham or fried chicken;
    Southern fried, of course! =)
    Got any other new ideas for this great staple?
    Would love to have ‘em!

  32. Keri

    I grew up in Georgia and never much cared for grits. I know, sacrilege, sacrilege. But on a recent trip back home, I ordered grits for my toddler daughter and was smitten. She was served the Anson Mill kind and they are delicious.

    The grits I always had in my childhood were made from finely ground white hominy, and not the the coarse cornmeal you use in polenta. I’ve always preferred polenta because it has a cornier taste and thicker texture. The Anson Mill grits we had, though, were pretty much identical to polenta.

    Similarly, I like yellow cornbread–I think some might call it Yankee cornbread? At any rate, my Alabama and Georgia friends always preferred white cornbread, which I still think of as the true Southern cornbread.

    Two really excellent Southern country cookbooks I recommend to anyone are:

    The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock
    Country Cooking: Recipes and Stories from the Family Farm Stand by Dori Sanders

  33. Aaron

    I usually only eat grits for breakfast, though I rarely cook them at home I always order them at waffle house or cracker barrel.

    My favorite recipe is quick and microwaveable. You can even use it if you like it. For a quick addition to breakfast, just cook instant grits as directed on the package. Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup shredded cheddar per serving, and add garlic to taste. I like garlic, so I put a teaspoon in per serving.

    Eat by itself or with eggs and toast.

  34. Nancy

    I grew up in Columbia, SC eating grits. We eat them at breakfast, but also at dinner with shrimp. About 10 years ago, I stumbled on this recipe and now we always make our grits this way even for breakfast leaving out the onions, shrimp and lime butter. The chicken broth adds a lot of flavor and the cream cheese makes them so creamy.

    Folly Island Shrimp and Grits

    2 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
    3/4 cup quick-cooking white grits
    3 tablespoons cream cheese
    2 tablespoons half and half
    1/2 cup chopped green onions

    1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  35. Catherine Lewis

    OK Here’s something this good old southern gal knows about grits. The French think they have something special in polenta. Well I know they stole the idea from taking left over grits, pressed with the back of a spoon, in whatever it was cooked in from the night before and with a little bacon fat or butter, slice off a hunk and fry it for a yummy breakfast feast! Or side dish

  36. Ann

    I had a different version of grits on a trip to Africa. I had the great privilege of sharing a meal with a local family who carried bowls of food out of their mud hut. We shared the same bowl, reaching in to eat with our hands. The grits were stiffer than we usually have in the US (more like polenta, I guess), and seemed primarily seasoned with salt. I’m not sure whether it was made from the corn we had helped grind earlier in the afternoon. It was served with a vegetable dish similar to chopped collards with onions, and with a dish that appeared to be made of flat beans (like fava beans) in a sauce of stewed tomatoes.

  37. Pupis

    Hi Elise, I work for a company which produces and export corn grits to latin america and the Caribbean islands. We have an amazing colection of recipes, and even have a department who works developing new recipes using our product, and also give free cooking lessons to the general public. If you whish I could send you some of the recipes (and I have to admit, I have try them at home). Corn grits are an important part of our culture. and of course I WILL try your recipe.

  38. Valerie

    Definitely save the sugar for Cream of Wheat or Oatmeal! I can’t even imagine sugar in my grits – cheese, butter, salt and pepper is the way to go. I was born in Alabama, but my 9 year old Pennsylvania-born daughter has had cheese grits for breakfast pretty much every single day for the past 4 years. I grew up eating them with scrambled eggs, cheese and bacon – we just stirred it all up together and it was oh so good!

    This recipe looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it! I would have never thought to add fresh herbs to grits – what a great idea! Wish I had a big bowl of grits right now!

  39. Lindsey

    We love our grits here in Virginia. Plain buttered ones are good, but I’ve always liked my mom’s cheese grits even more. They taste like macaroni and cheese to me. I also enjoy plain grits with a spoonful of apple butter sometimes.

  40. CEN

    I have to second the comment on Anson Mills.
    I grew up eating grits in Georgia because I was told to. Once I discovered Anson Mills wonderful fresh flavorful grits (and cornmeal, polenta, farro, etc), I understood how grits became not just a tradition but one worth preserving. And ansonmills.com has some great grits recipes too– check out the Awendaw and classic shrimp and grits especially.

  41. T. Ball

    Hailing from southeast Kansas, I was properly introduced to grits at an early age. Crossing over into Missouri I had grits with black eyed gravy rather than the usual butter (and/or hot sauce) as we ate them.
    Now, fast forward – now living in Massachusetts I have introduced my sons to grits. Our favorite way is with jalapeno and cheese and recently I made quite a delicious grits souffle utilizing both…even my husband (a New Yorker) who never fully embraced grits truly enjoyed this method and said he’d eat them again this way. High brow grits, I guess!
    To me, any grit is a good grit….however, I don’t think I’d like the sugar on them as some have suggested! Just a personal thing, I suppose.

  42. tpsychnurse

    I have to agree with Ian. We like our grits thick, a tad undercooked so the gritty texture is predominant,and topped w/butter and salt. Husband and youngest daughter add ketchup as well. Anathema to me!

  43. Mom2Schnauzers

    My personal favorite: Hot Tomato Grits (with cheese, green chiles, and tomatoes) Great with Huevos Rancheros or as a side dish to pan-sauteed fish…MMmmmmm…

    http://www.recipezaar.com/270444

  44. love em' grits

    FYI grits are the same thing as polenta (you know what to do with that), if you prepare em’ southern style they are called grits, if you prepare them Italian style, they are polenta!

    Grits are a LOT like polenta, unless they are hominy grits, which is quite a different thing. (Hominy corn is first nixtamalized, or treated with lye.) Also polenta is usually made with yellow corn, while grits are often made with white corn. ~Elise

  45. Judy Beatty

    Re the Folly Island Shrimp and Grits recipe posted initially by Nancy, I noted the preparation instructions were not included. Looked up the recipe on web (very same ingredients) and the instructions for cooking are:

    Preparation
    Combine chicken broth and 1 tablespoon butter in heavy medium saucepan and bring to boil. Stir in grits. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix cream cheese and half and half into grits. Cover and simmer mixture until almost all liquid has evaporated and grits are tender, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Stir in green onions. Remove mixture from heat.
    Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and sauté just until shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Remove skillet from heat. Spoon grits onto center of plate. Top with shrimp and drizzle with lime butter from skillet.

    I plan on making this for “supper” tonight – Texans love grits!

  46. Mariah

    I’m not from the South, but somehow grits are part of what I grew up with. I must admit that I only make them one way…the way my momma does…
    per the package..
    with the addition of a little butter, a little cheese, a little s&p, and a fried egg on top!

    yummy!
    I love shrimp & grits as well, but have never made them.

    I’m looking forward to trying the corn and green onion version!

  47. Mariah

    Thanks so much Folly Island Shrimp & Grits!
    That’s where I first fell in love with S&G!
    I’m sooooo excited right now!

  48. Ellen

    I grew up in Maine and never ate grits as a child, never knew anyone who ate grits, actually, grits could not be purchased at our local groceries. After graduating college, I moved south, (Florida, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina) and discovered grits. I fell in love instantly. I eat my grits as a breakfast food with lots of salt, pepper and butter. Also I enjoy cheese grits, but still with lots of salt, pepper and butter. Of course eggs sunny side up, toast and sausage are needed to complete the grit breakfast. I have never had grits with sugar or syrup and really don’t think I care to try. But grits are great! And if there are any yankees reading this and turning up their noses, just give them a try, you might be surprised. Another food I discover while living in the south was okra. Being from Maine as I stated previously, we did not eat okra, I had never even heard of okra and still today, living back in my small hometown in Maine, I cannot purchase okra at the grocery store. I can purchase grits but only one variety, Quaker instant, better than nothing.

  49. toohipmum

    Being a Southern Californian, I have never had the pleasure to have grits for breakfast. This grits recipe does sound yummy though.

  50. Stacy

    I love grits and especially like them in savory dishes.

    My staple: 1 cup of grits, cooked, plus 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, and 12-14 pickled jalapeno slices, chopped finely. Mix it all together with a dash of the jalapeno pickling juice (or tabasco) and some freshly ground pepper. Bake for 20 minutes at 350. Delicious every time.

  51. Wallace

    I love grits, especially as an item for breakfast with eggs, toast and a meat such as bacon or sausage. Traditionally, grits in our household is cooked with water (and a little milk) and is eaten with butter or margarine. It is also good when fried (left over grits chilled overnight and sliced the next morning, dipped in an egg mixture, then pan fired. I have also enjoyed grits with pan gravy from a meat dish. When fish is on the menu, grits goes well as a side dish. MORE FOOD RECOGNITION NEEDED FOR GRITS EATERS.

  52. LeighB in ATL

    Butter, salt, pepper, cheese, and what you get is such starchy comforting goodness. My stepdad on occasion will slice a fresh tomato and mix it up with some hot grits. Not my thing but he loves it.

    Also, I’m amazed that it took so long for some of these fast food restaurants to come up with the idea of the “grits bowl” breakfast. I’ve been doing that forever! Got grits? Got eggs? Got bacon or sausage? Then dump it all in the bowl and the more, the merrier, I say! Three great tastes that taste great together, right?

  53. grace

    I once made grits with bleu cheese and bacon, topped with grilled shrimp… it sounded iffy to me too, but it is MMMMMM GOOD!

  54. Vic

    All you sugar haters stop it and get over yourselves.
    I grew up in Tennessee eating my grits with sugar and butter. Mmmmmm…. Now I usually get a cheesier, creamy-er version sometimes with shrimp. Still mmmmmm….
    There’s a place in Atlanta called “The Flying Biscuit” that has what they call “creamy dreamy grits” and are the best grits I’ve ever eaten made with cream and cheese.

  55. Regina

    Hmmm… Grits. Being half-Southern (Daddy was Texan), and living in Alabama – I thought I would learn to love grits. Sorry. To no avail. I MAY try this recipe, but I can’t promise a love of grits at all. But if you’re ever in Montgomery, Nobles has a dish called “Smoked Gouda grits and shrimp” – and they have a great flavor to them…. I just can’t get past the texture….

  56. SEAHAGGZIM

    No one should ever put anything on their grits ‘cept butter, salt, pepper, and maybe some cheese. Sugar, syrup are a yankee thing! Also, if you make your grits with chicken broth and a tad of heavy cream, and add half a bag of shredded cheddar, and green onions on top, that’s about as gourmet as they should ever be!

  57. TwoBarkingDogs

    I really like yellow corn grits .. they seem to have more flavor. Stone-ground corn grits! Yum. I bought a package at Nora Mills (many years ago) and have been ordering on-line ever since.

    http://www.noramill.com – for anyone that’s interested.

    If you’re still not sure about grits, try a Southern specialty – Shrimp & Grits. O M Goodness! That will surely change the minds of any fence sitters!

    Glad to know that you’ve discovered grits. And, if you run into someone that won’t try grits because they’re food snobs .. just tell them its polenta!!

    Thanks for this recipe. I plan to try it this weekend for brunch.

  58. Bonnie H.

    I like my grits fairly stiff (not soupy) with lots of butter, salt and pepper. My dad likes to add Tabasco sauce. The only time I have them with cheese is if they are prepared in a casserole.

  59. Brad

    Mmmmmmm…. grits. As a previous commenter mentioned, shrimp and grits for the win. Good stuff. I typically take mine straight up with butter, salt, and pepper for breakfast. Though, if I’m feeling a bit silly, a spoon full of jelly is good.

  60. Marcia

    I had a meeting at U Hawaii in April. Packed course ground grits from Helen, GA. Also, took 2 bottles of BBQ sauce for Georgia friends who can’t find a taste of home so far away.

    Yes, my luggage was inspected–bet they were tempted to steal those goodies!

  61. tifani

    My husband would be horrified to know anyone so much as meniontioned eating grits with sugar or syrup. He grew up in a very Southern family, and explains grits as a way to mix different breakfast food items together (like eggs, sausage, cheese, or bacon). I only tried them for the first time a few years ago, and cannot say I’m smitten myself, but he has made it very clear to me that they are not cream-of-wheat or meant to be eaten as a sweet breakfast food.

    I think I’ll stick to my cream-of-wheat with brown sugar, butter and milk!

  62. Elise

    Hmm. Given that grits are a lot like cream of wheat, but made with corn meal not wheat, I can see how and why they’d make a delicious breakfast cereal, with sugar.

    Hello everyone, thanks for commenting! Obviously people are passionate about how they like their grits. Please let us stick to how we like ours, rather than dismissing how other people like theirs. Thanks.

  63. Madeline

    I’ve always wanted to try grits but I too had no idea how to prepare them. Thanks for a great recipe, it looks delicious. As for Michael Phelps, WOW!

  64. Molly

    I am a Texas gal at heart but reside in Minnesota – and when it comes to grits, yes they hold a special place in my heart! In my book there are 2 ways for grits to be prepared 1) “Plain”- with salt (you must salt the water, if you wait & only salt the cooked grits, you could pour the Red Sea in there and it still wouldn’t be right!), butter & black pepper, #2 Cheesy Garlicky Grit Soufflé (at least that is what it was called in my house!) – garlic salt, eggs, milk, cheddar cheese & black pepper)

  65. Lisa

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GRITS indeed!! As a GRITS (Girl Raised in The South) myself, I am cheering your fearlessness in posting a grits recipe!! :) However, in my humble southern opinion, one simply must use cheddar or American cheese in grits, but I will try the Parm at least once!! ;) Thank you from the bottom of my grits-lovin’ heart!! :)

  66. courtney

    First of all, you CAN’T use instant.

    Then butter cheese (good ole cheddar is fine by me)salt and cracked black pepper.

  67. Holly

    As a Mainer, born and bred, I don’t think I have much room to talk about grits, but my father, also a Mainer, got me hooked on them. (I think he was probably introduced to them while stationed in the south while in the Army) However, I think they are pretty good with just butter and sugar. He also used to put a couple over easy eggs on his, but I was never big on that. I have tried them with garlic and cheese, but I prefer the sweet method myself.

  68. Cristi

    I have to admit I was disappointed when I saw your image of a *bowl* of grits. Growing up in Oklahoma City, I learned that the best grits come in a cube. I’ve mostly had them plain (meaning just cheese flavored), but could understand mixing in other things or even serving with sweet toppings. It’s just the texture of the baked grits that’s unbeatable — they even get a little crispy on the top — half-way to cornbread. MMM, delicious.

    On a side note, though I probably won’t try the grits, I’m a long-time reader and have made several of your recipes with great success. Keep up the good work!

  69. Cess

    I love shrimp and grits. I am not from the south but my grandparents are!!!!! I also prefer yellow grits…I think they are “cornier”. Yummy! Also fried grit cakes similar to mashed potato cakes.

  70. chris

    So all I need to do is eat this and I’ll have a physique like michael phelps?

    If it were only that easy. ~Elise

  71. Darlene

    I grew up eating grits with salt and butter. We either had bacon, smoked sausage, sausage links or patties, ham or hot sauage and egss with them; buttered toast rounded out the meal. Sometimes we added cheesee to the grits while they were cooking. Sometime we put the leftover grits in a pan, refrigerated them and sliced and fried them in butter the next day. Then, I went to visit friends in MS who served them with fried fish for breakfast. Since then I’ve had them with pork chops, and they are real good with liver and onions for breakfast or dinner. Yes, I’m from the South, New Orleans.

  72. bahaikat

    Good recipe. I tweaked it a bit for my family’s taste. I used asadero cheese and added green chili. – We live in New Mexico. I”m originally from central Texas, and grew up with grits ‘n gravy. Hominy Grits and cream gravy – mmm! The only way my family will usualy eat grits is sliced, and fried with syrup.

  73. Liz B.

    Ok, I am southern and grew up eating grits at least once a week for beakfast if not most days. There are only a few rules (in my mind) when it comes to eating them.

    1. They should never be runny, always thick.
    2. If eaten for breakfast, butter salt and pepper are a must. No syrup.
    3. Cheese grits are a main course not a side item. :)
    4. Shrimp and Cheese Grits are the ultimate in grits-cuisine.

  74. Natalie W

    I have really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments! I’m a native NC girl, now living in the ‘burbs of Nashville, TN married to a die-hard grits eatin’ man from southern VA. As most of the others have said: savory, never sweet. Very salty. Must have sausage patties or links to dip or bacon grease to mix in. As long as there is pork with it, we don’t even add any salt, butter or cheese :) In fact, a pork chop with grits is about the best thing ever!

  75. Adrienne

    My mother makes grits cooked with a cinammon stick, butter, vanilla extract and brown sugar…. maybe also some milk I think? She’s from Haiti, and it’s a really wonderful dish! We all love it!

    She’ll also use grits for dinner. She’ll use them like a rice substitute with a chicken dish with gravy and whatever vegetables, or cook them with spices and onions (similar to this recipe) for a savory version of grits.

  76. Stella Cadente

    I love grits, but not sweet.

    They are much better cooked in some savory fashion: plain with butter and salt, or with cheese. Or ham or bacon. Garlic is good, especially if you have the cheese and it’s just a sprinkle of a very good garlic salt (like Lawry’s).

    I get instant grits and eat them for breakfast at work all the time. I can’t stand sweets for breakfast, and lots of packaged oatmeals are just too sweet and I’m not taking my own organic honey to work, etc… So grits it is!

    I am going to try this recipe some weekend at home. Sounds amazing, almost like a stewed polenta.

  77. Rachel

    Grew up in Atlanta, living in Florida now. Shrimp and grits with white cheese and black pepper is the best thing ever. this recipe looks really good though, will try. Funniest movie ever- My cousin Vinnie with Ralph Macchio, Marisa Tomei, and Joe Pecsi:
    “Havn’t you folks ever heard of grits?”
    “Oh sure I heard of grits, I just actually never seen a grit before”
    and later-
    “You testified earlier that you were only away from the window for 5 minutes while you cooked your grits and then came back and saw the defendants leaving the Sac o Suds?”
    “yes thats right, they was peelin all over tha road”
    “Were they instant grits?”
    “No self respecting Southerner cooks instant grits, I take pride in my grits”
    “So then how is it that you were able to cook your grits in 5 minutes, when it takes the rest of the grit eating world twenty minutes?”
    (nervous witness) “Uh… I dont know, I’m a fast cook I guess”
    “You’re a fast cook?! Thats it? Does water boil faster on your stove? You expext us to believe that the laws of physics cease to exist in your kitchen? Were these magic grits? Did you get them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans!?!”

  78. Elizabeth Brooks

    I’ve eaten grits my whole life thanks to my mother who born in the south. I often eat them for breakfast or when I don’t feel well. Just a good pat of butter on top with some salt and pepper is wonderful! Sometimes cheese is good too mixed into the warm grits. When I was teaching, one of the books the class read mentioned grits. Very few 4th graders in California have ever eaten grits so I would come armed with pot, spoon, grits, salt, pepper, lots of butter and other necessities. I would make the grits and give each child a small serving. Most of the kids really liked them…you can tell when they ask for more! :) Good memories!

  79. Paul

    Elise,
    I can’t remember one of your recipes that generated as many posts as this.

    I just made the corn/green onion grits and served them with buttermilk/Tabasco marinated and panko baked chicken thighs garnished with a tomato and yellow beet salad. An exquisite combination of colors, flavors and textures, as it turned out. And thanks for getting this Yankee out of the grits-as-hot-cereal rut!

    Paul

  80. Dragon

    I’ve only had grits once in my life and I didn’t like it. But, the grits I had didn’t look as wonderful as yours. I might have to give them another try. :)

  81. Sara

    We live on the rural Gulf coast of Florida, and the old timers here ate their grits for breakfast with fried mullet. We don’t eat them for breakfast now (I know I don’t want to get up and have to fry fish!), but we never eat fried mullet without them!

  82. Kathleen

    I grew up in north central Texas and my mom periodically tried, to no avail, to get me to eat grits. Of course, the way she served them was with sugar and cream—no wonder I didn’t like them. In Louisiana, where I live now, they do it differently (with salt and butter) but I resisted for too many years thinking I didn’t like grits. When I finally relented and gave it a taste, I was sorry I’d wasted all that time that I could have been loving them like everyone else does down here!

    My friend makes a great grits breakfast casserole, starting with grits for 6 (not instant!) and adding crumbled bacon, sauteed chopped onion, green onions, and bell pepper, grated cheddar, and beaten eggs with Creole seasoning, and pouring the whole thing into a 9×13 baking dish lined with buttered white bread (butter side down). It’s then covered with foil and refrigerated overnight. The next morning you put it into a cold oven, set the oven to 350°, and bake 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 15 to brown. It’s not on anyone’s diet plan but it’s wonderful!

  83. Nicole

    This is the best grits recipe ever

  84. Julia

    Ummmm born in Oklahoma, lived a lot of my early childhood in Florida, got kin all over de South, and I love grits – doesn’t matter if savory or sweet. Love ‘em for breakfast or for dinner or for comfort food.

    My mom used to make a big batch of it and we’d eat it with butter, salt & pepper as a side dish if we didn’t have rice – goes good with greens, corn, chicken. We kept kosher best we could, so none of the bacon grease, shrimp, ham, porkchops, pig bacon, none of that. Sometimes she’d stir in cheese, and we could put hot sauce or ketchup on it as we wished (as kids, it took awhile before I got used to Tobasco sauce.).

    Then she’d take the leftovers and put them in a loaf pan like others have mentioned, and refrigerate it. The next morning she’d sliced those up and fry them in butter and we’d drizzle more butter and honey or syrup on it. Or if we wanted to, we could have the fried slices and put our fried eggs on them to let the yolk mix in with it (I eventually got to where I preferred fried over easy rather than medium, the gookier the egg yolk the better, or else a really soft runny scrambled egg.).

    My husband also grew up in the south, grew up using Griffins syrup (this is an Oklahoma/Arkansas “thang” best I can tell!), and so now he’s corrupted me with that…but I occasionally still fry up the grits and use honey or Griffin’s syrup…sometimes even use molasses!

    To my mind, there just isn’t a lot of difference between grits (white or yellow) and “Polenta” other then that the Polenta is a corser grit. It’s all corn, it all goes down good sweet or savory!! ;-)

  85. KAREN

    We eat grits almost every day (south Louisiana). Grits were the first food my children ate when they were babies. My favorite: John Folse Grits & Grillades – yum! or the same dish at the Court of Two Sisters.

    Love your blog!

  86. Lisa

    I love grits, even though I’m not from the South. We’re lucky around
    here that we get stone-ground corn from a local farmer; delicious! I’m going south on vacation soon, and one of my big goals is to find a restaurant that serves shrimp and grits, which a good (Southern) friend swears by.

  87. QlinArt

    I’m from Canada and have no idea what are grits. Having American
    friends, I have heard the term before, but now it’s interesting what
    grits look like. Thanks for sharing Elise! BTW, I don’t know about
    you but I think Michael Phelps is not human – to eat that many eggs in one sitting! kidding aside, he’s a great athlete – but still not
    human… :)

  88. Susan

    Being a Georgia girl, I grew up loving grits in the simplest form — with lots of butter, salt, and pepper. Grits have now taken on a new role in Southern cuisine. The trend at weddings in Georgia is to have a “Grits Bar” with the basic grits and a wide variety of toppings, much like a potato bar. One of my favorite recipes is Tomato Grits, a mixture of cooked grits, a can of Rotel tomatoes, grated cheddar cheese, and butter. Serve as a delicious side dish for shrimp, seafood or barbecue pork and chicken. Yum!

  89. Liana

    I didn’t grow up eating grits, but I discovered them in college and I’ve been hooked ever since.

    I eat them with a little butter, a little Parmesan cheese and a LOT of cracked black pepper.

    Or with rosemary, sea salt and red pepper flakes.

    Or with three colors of bell pepper and some jalapenos.

    Mmmm.

  90. Lou

    I was born in San Diego and still reside there, but Momma was a Southern belle – so I grew up eating and loving grits. And I agree with an earlier poster – add butter and pepper, place a couple of lightly-basted eggs on top, puncture the yolks, and you’re in Grits Heaven. Unfortunately, heaven has not been within my grasp lately, as all of the supermarkets in my neighborhood have ceased carrying grits (I do not consider “quick grits” to be grits).

  91. FlossieMossie

    I recently had a spiritual experience with Grits while dining on Sea Island, GA with some ‘Shrimp n Grits’. I was intrigued when the description contained a particular brand name of grits so when I got home and looked it up, I found out that these grits are grown from antebellum heirloom varieties of corn. I bought some and cooked according to the directions and I will never eat any other grits again. The taste, the texture and the aroma are hands down the best I’ve ever had and I was raised on grits.

  92. Marcia Bragg-Bogan

    Southern Grits

    2 cups water
    1/2 to 1 tsp salt
    1/2 cup grits
    1 Tbl butter

    Use small heavy pot with thick bottom and tight fitting lid. Pour water into pot followed by remaining ingredients. Bring to full boil and immediately reduce to simmer. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. The longer it simmers, the better it is. We sometimes add cheese. I have added cheese and fresh pressed garlic just before serving. Delicious.

  93. melissa cifarelli

    Ok, first of all, SUGA? Never! My favorite is my grandma’s grits on top of 2 fried eggs & country ham smothered with red eye gravy! Another favorite, and veggie version (though you won’t find to many southerners that are vegetarians) is fried green tomatoes & fried eggs on top of grits. Oh, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE shrimp or scallops & grits!

  94. Janene

    Being a midwestern girl I didn’t try grits until just a few years ago. But I do love them now. My previous pastor (born & raised in Birmingham, AL) told me that they were like popcorn, they need plenty of butter and salt. Which is how I like them with breakfast. I also make the ubiquitous cheesy grits casserole, it is so yummy. My recipe calls for sharp cheddar & Velveeta both. Yummy!

  95. Dude

    I was born and raised in the south. Grits are comfort food on a cold rainy day. Fix a bowl of grits, stir in some hoop cheese, a couple of scrambled eggs, and then some crubled thick sliced bacon. Butter me some hot bisuits then spread on some Muscadine jelly!
    UUUMMM Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Grits!!

  96. Wilma

    Bet know one has tried this for grits, I use to and and still do. boil your grit using water instead of milk until all the liquid is absorbed.
    put into a loaf type dish, chilled till solid’
    slice the thickness of bread, dip into beaten egg, roll in flour removing excess. Fry till golden. season with salt, serve with maple syrup. perfect side dish to eggs and toast.

  97. Kathy

    I’ve think I have read all the comments on the grits, and even though there are several commentators from south Louisiana, even New Orleans, no one has mentioned Grits & Grillades, a Cajun/Creole (not sure which exactly), southern Louisianan tradition. Whereas Grillades used to be made with hog parts, usually at the butchering of pig, along with some hogs head cheese, boudin & sausage, Today, grillades is usually made with plain old beef round steak or veal, much more palatable to the general public. It is a faboulous winter dish, great for weekend brunches, especially around Mardi Gras when no one wants to actually COOK breakfast, just reheated. It is one of those dishes, like gumbo, that is better the next day.
    I love to prepare my grits with a little sauteed onion & garlic to go along with the grillades.

    Think of serving your braised shortribs with a good side of savory grits, and that is how a good batch of grillades would be, albeit a little more spice!

    Grillades:
    1 3/4 pounds veal or beef round, thinly sliced
    Spice mixture: 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper,
    5 cloves garlic finely chopped
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 1/2 cups onion, coarsely chopped
    1 cup celery (more or less to taste), chopped
    1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
    1 can Rotel tomatoes
    1 1/4 cups beef stock
    2 tablespoons flour
    Grits:
    3 cups cooked grits – not instant type
    1/3 stick butter (not margarine)

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Preparation:
    Trim excess fat off the meat, cut into 2-inch squares. Pound each square of meat until almost double in size. Then, dip meat (both sides) into spice mixture, then pound meat again until very tender. Brown the meat with the butter and oil in a hot skillet, add flour and turn heat down, brown v-e-r-y slowly, making a dark roux (like making gravy), but cooked more slowly, and darker – not burned.

    Add the onions, celery and bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly until the vegetables are beginning to be tender. Add the tomatoes and stock, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes to several hours, until the meat is tender and the entire dish (grillades) is a rich brown. Serves 6 (maybe)…

    This is very similar to the recipe my husband’s family uses; the longer it cooks, the more savory it becomes.

  98. B.Swetnam

    This recipe is from the Charleston Receipts (no I did not spell it wrong)Cookbook, America’s oldest Junior League Cookbook in print. Shrimp and Grits were food for the poor and slaves. Grits (hominy)were cheap and they caught the shrimp in the creeks. Now every Five Star restaurant and truck stop serve them. If you are in Charleston S.C. you must have them at a little restaurant called “Justine’s”

    Breakfast Shrimp
    2 cups small, peeled raw shrimp
    2 tablespoons chopped onion
    2 teaspoons chopped green pepper
    3 tablespoons bacon grease
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 tablespoon tomato catsup
    1 1/2 tablespoons flour
    1 cup water or more

    Fry onion and green pepper in bacon grease. When onion is golden, add shrimp, turn several times with onion and pepper. Add enough water to make a sauce – about a cup. Do not cover shrimp with water or your sauce will be tasteless. Simmer 2 or 3 minutes and thicken with flour and a little water made into a paste. Add seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and catsup. Cook slowly until sauce thickens. Serve over hominy (grits). Serves 4

  99. jennifer

    Born and raised in South Carolina, grits has always been a part of my life. My fiance, however, is from northern Michigan, but his mother is from South Carolina. So, when he told me that he was not used to eating grits – I was shocked! I have been easing him into the process – I will mix corn or peas into them (a sin, I know) if a dinner side, or a little extra butter with bacon crumbles for breakfast. putting familiar foods into the grits has really helped him find appreciation for the food; he now reaches for grits as a side dish!

  100. angel

    I eat mine with chedder bacon and eggs cooked over easy. My grandmother made em with spam and colby jack, and my Aunt likes butter and sugar.

  101. Lauren.

    I grew up in Alabama and I don’t think I can remember a morning growing up that we didn’t have grits for breakfast. Big bowl of cheddar grits with bacon & an egg, sunny side up! My favorite is to cook a big pot of grits – add cheddar, breakfast sausage, a can of rotel, and some salt & pepper. Delicious! And who can say no to the wonderful blackened shrimp and grits?!

  102. Liz

    I was born in SC and grew up in VA and Louisiana. NEVER ate grits sweet! Yuck! Always with butter, some Tony’s, cheese optional, fried meat (ham, bacon, or balony) Mmmmm… Also love some shrimp and grits.

  103. LancasterMom

    The grit recipe to die for!!!!

    Tri Delta Breakfast

    2lbs of medium sausage
    1 box of Jiffy Corn muffin mix
    4 eggs beaten
    1 ¾ milk
    ½ cup of butter melted
    1 cup of grits cooked
    2 cups of cheese

    Cook sausage until done (drain grease and place on paper towel). Combine corn muffin mix, eggs, milk, butter, and grits.
    Layer Sausage, then the mixture above, then cover with cheese.
    Bake 325 for 45 minutes

  104. Dagny

    I’m from southern Virginia, and I’ve always eaten grits with just salt and butter. My husband, however, is from central Louisiana, and he eats his with jam or jelly.

  105. N.Camel

    Try this grits recipe…..Baked Garlic Grits….4 cups water, salt and pepper to taste, 1 Cup uncooked grits, 2 eggs beaten, 1/2 stick of butter, 3 garlic cloves (use a garlic press) mashed, about 1 and 1/2 cups of grated cheese of your choice, a dash of Tabasco……Preheat oven to 350* cook the grits, until thick and creamy…temper the eggs with a small amount of hot grits, then add it back to the pot of grits.put the remaining ingredients in the grits and pour into a 2 quart casserole…..top with additional cheese if you want….bake 45 minutes.

  106. Nancy Long

    will be trying these soon – grew up having grits or cornmeal mush for breakfast several times a week. We would tell our Dad that we wanted fried grits or mush for breakfast, so he would make a batch at night to chill; of course, we would eat it then and he would have to make more for the morning. I was smarter with my boys. Would make a big batch at night so that there would be leftovers for breakfast. we never had sugar or milk on ours, just butter, salt and pepper. Yum

  107. Nancy Long

    just remembered, Cafe Zea’s (believe that’s the name) in Harahan, LA makes fantastic Roasted Corn Grits with yellow grits. I don’t have their recipe but have pretty much mastered it on my own and hubby loves them

  108. Dino

    When I was in Florida, I was introduced to to “Nassau grits” which I liken to the grit equivalent of dirty rice. I discovered that there were many variations that depended on both personal preference and ingredient availability. If you can put it into an omelet, it seemed to be fair game to put into grits. I like the “kitchen sink” variety which may include sausage, bacon, onions, bell peppers, shredded cheese and even bits of scrambled eggs. Some folks cook the grits and then add the extra stuff during cooking -personally, I don’t care when they married the grits to the extras, as long as they got together. If I find myself near grits (usually they’re plain) and despite the fact that I can eat them with a little salt and pepper, I always look for stuff to mix in…I’ll crumble some bacon, add shredded cheese or break up a sausage patty to augment the grits -sort of a personal “grit casserole” …YUM!!!

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