I’m  a little ashamed of this posting. It’s a confession. I ate grits that had cheese in them — and I loved them. It’s so wrong. Real grits don’t have cheese! I know that. I grew up with grits — not quick grits but grits you simmer forever and with no thyme, sun-dried tomatoes, or cheese — just salt and butter.

Then I had my three boys and I raised them in the north (Washington, D.C. is north to people from south Alabama) but I raised them right. That means I raised them on crab gumbo, fried chicken, and grits. 

Several years ago, I took my youngest son to NYC. We went to one of my favorite restaurants, Sarabeth’s Kitchen on Madison Avenue. Grits were on the menu. He ordered them. He stared at them. They weren’t grits. They were some concoction with cheese. He wished he’d ordered the pancakes.

I explained the rules of grits to him. Never order grits in the north – they’ll be dry and undercooked or they’ll have cheese — and real grits don’t have cheese.

Now I’ve betrayed generations of southern cooks and the southern way of life. I’ve eaten cheesy grits and asked for seconds. Guilt loves companyso I’m here to lead others astray. Here’s the recipe from my friend Dot at Silver Brook Farms near Leesburg, VA

2 l/4 cups low-salt  chicken broth
2 tablespoons (l/4 stick) butter
1 garlic clove, chopped
l/2 cup quick-cooking grits
3/4 cup whipping cream
l/2 cup diced drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (about  4 oz)
Chopped fresh chives (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. 
Generously butter 8x8x2 inch baking dish.
Bring broth, 2 tablespoons butter, and garlic to boil in heavy medium saucepan.  Gradually whisk in grits and return mixture to boil, whisking occasionally. 
Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until grits are thick and almost all broth is absorbed, whisking frequently, about 8 minutes.
Whisk in ½ cup cream and simmer 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.
Whisk in remaining l/4 cup cream and simmer until very thick, stirring often, about  5 minutes longer.
Stir in tomatoes, thyme and goat cheese.  ||Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour into prepared dish. 
Bake about 15  minutes.  Garnish with chives, if desired, and serve immediately.



  1. Maura says:

    OH! But I do love cheesey grits…. I guess you can take the girl out of Connecticut but you can’t take ALL of the Connecticut out of the girl!

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