I never liked grits as a child, but as an adult, well, I discovered that if you put enough butter, cheese, and cream in a dish, it will taste fabulous every time. This version, with pan-roasted corn, is a true crowd-pleaser. It’s perfect for a potluck because, in addition to being easy to transport, it doesn’t have to be piping hot to be delicious.
This is a vegetarian side that’s perfect to contribute if you know someone is bringing fish or chili. Or, you can make it more substantial by adding chopped sausage or bacon and minced jalapeños to the grits mixture.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups freshly shucked corn kernels
- 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup minced green onion
- 6 cups half-and-half
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups stone-ground yellow corn grits
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the corn and onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent and the corn kernels are lightly seared. Add the green onion and remove from the heat.
In a large saucepan, bring the half-and-half and the water to a boil. Whisk in the grits. Reduce heat and cook, stirring almost constantly, for 15 minutes. Add remaining butter and heavy cream and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup of cheese. When the cheese is melted, stir in corn and onion mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon grits into a buttered, shallow casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Reprinted with permission from “Roux Memories: A Cajun-Creole Love Story With Recipes” by Belinda Hulin. Published by Lyons Press.