Random
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GET YO’ GRITS ON! Recipe: Fluffy & Crispy Chorizo & Ricotta Grits

Chorizo & Ricotta Grits - this pic does them no justice - I was hungry :(

My friend Kat from Florida always spoke of grits. I had never had any, and it seemed like the mystical Caesar from Canada (a bloody Mary made with clam juice – sounds wrong but oh my, is it wonderful). I wanted some.

But, where to start with grits? Tough to find in the UK (although Spuntino has recently put some on their menu). I did my research and some compared it to polenta. I could see that that wasn’t quite right as when I occasionally mentioned this to someone from the deep South, they reacted like I was insulting their mother.

I could see that there was quick cook and then old school. I wanted old school so when I went to Florida in February, I sourced proper Carolina plantation grits that came in their own little sack, and thus started a grits adventure.

I played around a bit and discovered that yes, they were gritty, and nutty too. Slightly grey in colour, they need long cooking – an hour to get the right texture (unless you are using quick grits).

I made some plain to have with a chorizo stew and had a eureka moment – why not put the chorizo in, with some ricotta (to make them light and fluffy) and bake them for the last half an hour to get fluffy grits packing a chorizo punch with a nice crispy crust.

Baked Ricotta Grits with Aji Amarillo - a delicious stage in the testing process

I did, and I haven’t looked back. They are a Sunday staple now, and proudly, my Floridian friend has proclaimed them the best grits she ever had.

Notes on the recipe: it seems like a lot of water, it is a lot of water, an not much grits, but these dry little grits need it and they will expand. They will be fluffy, not soggy. Use good ricotta, the best dry stuff, or make your own (easy and recipe in a certain book “Comfort & Spice coming your way soon! :)

Recipe: Chorizo & Ricotta Grits

Serves 4 as part of breakfast (stunning with a fry up) or 2 for lunch

Ingredients:

100g proper grits (not quick cook)
700ml water
150g cured chorizo, diced
100g good ricotta (I used buffalo)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (OPTIONAL: I like heat so I add this but not essential)
sea salt

Method:

Add the water to the grits in a solid pan. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for half an hour. They will look like grey molten tar, but don’t worry. Stir occasionally as they will stick.
Preheat your oven to 200 deg C. While it is heating and the grits are cooking, sauté the chorizo until softening in a little oil, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two. Take off the heat.
Add the ricotta, chorizo and garlic to the grits and mix. Pour into an oiled dish – the bigger the dish the more crispy crust you will have – and roast for 25 – 30 minutes until the crust is a dark orange but not burned.
Try and stop yourself from eating every last bit of them.

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I like food. I like to make food. Eat food. Photograph food. Write about food. Mainly in London but when I am lucky or organised further afield.

16 Comments

  1. I’ve always wondered what grits are… will keep an eye out to see if i can buy online :)

  2. Catherine says

    Try making spoonbread. I ate it a lot in Virginia at Sunday brunches. It’s very rich!

  3. What a great take on a classic, they look like such a good brunch option- there was an article in The Times today about the rising popularity of brunch. When I was young we lived in canada and I was always put off grits because I thought the name sounded like ‘gritty’ and I thought they would be dirty. Luckily I’ve outgrrown that thought. Do you know if you can buy grits in supermarket speciality sections?

  4. I had grits once (cooked in the ‘traditional’ way) in Atlanta, and couldn’t stand them! This sounds lime a much better way to enjoy them, though!

  5. There was a popular t-shirt in the 70′s that said simply ‘Eat My Grits’. If I ever come across one, it’s yours. Best Damn Grits this side of Mississippi! Way better than Spuntino’s.

  6. Grits, they sound horrible but I’m curious and will try getting my hands on them.

  7. Always fascinated by the sound of ‘grits’ (am sure cowboys ate them in films!) so THIS is what they are. Love to try them – like the sound of chorizo & ricotta w them. Another eye opening post
    : )

  8. Hmm still not sure about them they still sound better than they look…though I guess if they had some cheese in them? Will give a try

  9. Haha, As someone who also grew up in the South- they are nothing like polenta! I really like mine as cheese grits and grilled shrimp! Delicious!

  10. I was always scared of Bloody Caesars till I tried one! Delicious.. I’ve only had grits a couple of times but this looks like a great way to treat. Next time I see a grit I’ll have ago!

  11. First time I had grits was when I was a billet in a house in Atlanta. We had them for breakfast just with butter and a small sprinkling of cheese. They tasted a bit like flannel. These look far superior. Can’t wait for the ricotta recipe.

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