News

Crock Pot Grits August 23 2015

Crock Pot Grits

“AN HOUR!” is a refrain I often hear from potential customers when asked about how to cook coarse ground grits. I hide my inner exasperation, and solider on, extolling the virtues of the product, and the flavorful rewards of patience. But I agree. An hour is a long time, even if there are plenty of other dishes to cook with the meal. I find myself offering up a bag of quick grits or polenta in an effort to salvage the sale. But there is nothing quite like the texture of coarse stone-ground grits. They're just the 'real deal” for the honest Southern experience that is grits. The only problem: the cooking time for coarse grits hearkens to a time when households had dedicated cooks that could take the time to cook the grits over a low heat to the point of “done-ness,” where the largest particles give way at the first chew in a manner not unlike pasta.

This time commitment is a big deal (and often a deal breaker). But there is another way that is much easier, even if it paradoxically takes a great deal longer than an hour. It is the crock pot, or the slow cooker. With about five minutes of total work, you can enjoy a big pot of coarse ground grits for any meal!

The cooking technique is made easier buy the slow cooker's low heat. The metal pot against a heating element or gas flame is too hot to leave unattended for more than five minutes on even the lowest stove top setting. But the electric heating element of a slow cooker is tempered by the thick ceramic cooking vessel, proving a low, consistent heat over may hours that will render the big grits particles supple and satisfyingly soft. And the recipe also work for quick grits and polenta, with varying cooking times.

To give it a whirl, follow the link to the recipe here.


Pressure Cooker Coarse Grits November 04 2014

Pressure Cooker Coarse Grits 

 

 

Sometimes, only coarse grits will do. Sometimes we fail to plan ahead for the hour or more required to get those coarse stone-ground grits to that perfect softness that is reminiscent of a nice tiny piece of pasta. So what to do? You want grits, and you want them now! Enter the pressure-cooker!

Cooking grits and its finer relatives, quick grits and polenta, is all about hydrating the largest particle through and through. This is where the pressure-cooker stands out in its ability. Unlike the stove top, which simply uses heat to get the grits to absorb water, the pressure-cooker forces the hot water into the grits in a much shorter time span, with hardly any stirring!

My pressure cooker cooked my own coarse grits adequately in about 35 minutes Please keep in mind that all grits and all pressure cookers are different.You can set your cooker for a longer duration, but be sure to add a bit more water, approximately up to another quarter cup..

The pressure-cooker also works with quick grits and polenta. Cook quick grits for 25 minutes on high pressure, and polenta for 15.

Before you start, please be sure to read the instructions to your pressure cooker. Pressurized steam is super dangerous. Obey all safety instructions included with your cooker.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Coarse Grits

  • For Grits, 4 Cups Water or Stock (2 Cups of Milk, Buttermilk, Half and Half. Etc. may be exchanged for 1 Cup Water). For Polenta, use 3.5 Cups of liquid.

  • 1 Tsp Salt

  • 1 Tbsp butter

  • Recipe can be adjusted to scale.

 

Directions

  1. Add the 4 cups of stock or water to the Pressure cooker then add the 1 cup of grits. Whisk briskly for a minute. Let the grits settle to the bottom. Using a fine tea strainer,“wash” the grits by carefully skimming the floating material off of the surface. Discard material in the tea strainer. Don't scoop up the grits in the bottom!

  2. Add salt. Whisk briskly for a minute.

  3. Seal the cooker according to manufacturer's instructions.

  4. Cook the grits on high pressure for 35 minutes.

  5. When the cooker is finished, carefully release the pressure on the cooker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use quick release rather than natural.

  6. Let the cooker cool for a few minutes.

  7. Add butter.

  8. Add salt, if needed

  9. Add cheese or any other desired ingredients.

  10. Whisk briskly again to remove any lumps that may have formed.

  11. Enjoy!

 

 


Basic Coarse Grits Recipe January 29 2014

The Best way to Cook our Coarse Grits...

  • Combine 1cup of grits with 2.5 cups of water, stock or a combination in a pot.
  • On high heat, stir the mixture a minute or so with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat.
  • Using a fine tea strainer, strain any floating particles off of the top while slightly tilting the cooking pot. Take care not to scoop up the grits in the bottom of the pot!
  • Return to high heat. Once the grits boil, reduce heat to low and stir every few minutes, taking care to scrape the bottom of the pot. Don't rush and burn the grits on the bottom!
  • Cook grits at a low-medium temp until they soften and firm up (about an hour). Add salt and butter to taste.
  • If grits “firm up” before they soften, slowly add some water or stock that is at or near boiling (keeping a pot of hot water or stock simmering on the stove is very helpful).
  • Finish with salt, butter, and liberal amounts of cheese if desired (and whatever else you like in your grits--the list is practically endless!).
  • Enjoy!
Note: One-half cup of water or stock can be left out of the initial step, and exchanged for approximately 1.5 cups of heavy cream, milk, etc., added in thirds at a time at the end of the cooking time. Cheese can also be added at the finish.