No Southern breakfast would be complete without a serving of rich, creamy grits. but grits aren't just for breakfast! These savory grits are made with chicken broth or water, making them a refreshing side dish that can go with just about any meal. Or make them with plain water in place of the broth for a breakfast or brunch dish.
Chicken broth and cream make these grits savory, and they can be a fabulous rice, pasta, or potato replacement. Serve them with a topping of grilled shrimp or scampi, seared scallops, tender slices of poultry or meat (grillades) and gravy, or lamb chops. Or replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and top the grits with beans or vegetarian chili.
This recipe uses quick grits, and if you choose stone-ground — which take longer — you should follow the package directions for liquid amounts and timing. Don't use instant grits for this.
Did you know that grits are gluten-free? They are similar to polenta, and can be used in any recipe for polenta. Or replace the grits in this recipe with a good quality cornmeal or polenta.
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- 1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
- 1 2/3 cups chicken stock, low sodium or unsalted
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup quick grits
Bring the heavy cream, chicken broth, and water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Add butter, salt, and pepper to the saucepan and slowly whisk in the grits. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 to 20 minutes. The grits should be thick and creamy looking.
Taste the grits and adjust the salt and pepper, as needed.
Serve these grits in place of rice, pasta, or potatoes, with shrimp, pork tenderloin medallions, lamb chops, or other meat or poultry.
- Cheese Grits: Add 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded cheddar, Havarti, Gruyere, or another type of cheese.
- Spinach and Cheese Grits: Add 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and 1 cup of fresh chopped — or 1/2 cup of frozen, thawed, and squeezed — spinach just before the grits are finished cooking.
- Vegetarian Creamy Grits: Replace the chicken broth with a good quality vegetable broth.
- Fried Grits Cakes: Let the cooked grits cool slightly and then stir in one beaten egg. Turn the mixture into a generously buttered loaf pan and chill thoroughly. Cut the loaf into thin slices and fry in butter or drippings. For a crispy coating, dip the grits cakes in flour, then in some beaten egg, then in flour again. Fry in oil, shortening, or butter until golden brown.