Basic Grits

Grits are like collard greens and fried chicken in the South. Everyone has their “unique” way of preparing them, and they believe their method is the best. Here is how we do basic grits at Chef and the Farmer.

2 cups white stone ground grits
2 qt. milk
black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a double boiler combine the grits and the milk. Bring this up to a simmer around the edges. Whisk semi-frequently and cook until the grits have expanded and soaked up the milk and are thick. This could take up to two hours. Season aggressively with salt and less aggressively with black pepper. Off the heat, whisk in the heavy cream.
At the restaurant, we categorize the Pimp My Grits section of the menu as something to share and possibly dip into. We build each Pimped Grit in a 6 inch cast iron skillet, and that skillet is finished in a very hot oven.  Each composition treats the grits as a blank canvas and strives to be balanced and unique. Below are two customer favorites.

Grit Tips
  • Our basic recipe recommends milk as a cooking liquid for grits, but you could absolutely use anything you like. We have used water, chicken stock, apple cider, heavy cream, goat whey, and shrimp stock all to varying levels of success.
  • The modern grocery store, particularly in the South, offers many small, quality producers of grits. Your best bet is to look for one that is stone ground, lists only one ingredient, and recommends refrigeration or freezing for storage.
  • People tend to pair very rich ingredients like meats or cheese with grits. To keep from feeling like your grit creations are just too heavy, always include something with some acidity, like tomato, onion, apple, or roasted peppers marinated in some lemon juice. 
  • Grits really are a blank canvas, so don’t shy away from combining a sweet element with this grain. One of our most popular grit creations at the restaurant is a Pimped Grit with stewed figs, caramelized onions, bacon, and blue cheese.