A Paula Deen Moment.

2 Aug

I have a lot of Paula Deen moments.  Some of them are far better than others.  Yesterday?  Yesterday I might have had my greatest Paula Deen moment.  The best part about yesterday’s Paula Deen moment was that I didn’t use a recipe.  I’m gettin’ pretty good at making a few things up as I go along.  I hope these do it yourself suggestions inspire you rather than get you worked up and annoyed.

The one Southern dish that I might love more than any other is grits.  Some people turn their nose up at them.  I’m not sure how to handle a bad reaction to grits.  If you don’t like them?  I think it means that you just haven’t found the right grits.  Keep. Looking.  In a way, they remind me of mashed potatoes.  Mashed potatoes are fine on their own but you can “dress ’em up” and really have something special.  I got reacquainted (fell in love) with grits a couple of years ago on our honeymoon in Savannah, GA.  Maybe you have to travel to Savannah to learn how to love grits, but I don’t think so.

I wrote a post a week or two ago about my new and unwavering love for blue cheese.  Ever since I wrote that post I’ve been trying to come up with new ways to get blue cheese on my plate.  I got up yesterday and it hit me.  Blue. Cheese. Grits.  I ran to the store.  I rushed around finding the few things that I would need to take my grits to the next level.

A word about grits.  Since that trip to Savannah, I’ve made tons of grits.  I’ve read about them.  I’ve learned of new and weird things to do with them.  I DVR Paula Deen, what can I say.  So…I have a couple of tips for you.  If you want creamy grits?  And you do by the way.  You want them to be creamy, not clumped up and weird.  The easiest way to make creamy grits is to not follow the directions on the box.  Don’t add grits to boiling water.  Put your grits in the water and then bring that water to boil.  Weird, right?  It totally makes them creamier.  The other tip I have?  Don’t use water.  Crank up the flavor by using chicken or vegetable stock to cook your grits.  If you follow one or both of those tips?  Your grits will already be better than ever.

What?

Grits (I use Quaker old-fashioned grits…they’re like $1.50 at Target)

1 small onion

ricotta cheese

2 cups (one can) vegetable broth

blue cheese crumbles

two garlic cloves

 

How?

Again.  There are no rules on this one.  I’ll just tell you what I did and hopefully that will inspire you in some way.  You can add more or less or none of what I’ve done.  I’m not exactly sure on the amounts…I’m guessing.  First?  I diced a small onion and fried it in olive oil.  Fried onion makes everything better.  I set the onion to the side and brought 3/4 cup of grits to boil in vegetable stock.  The one annoying thing about cooking grits is that you’ve got to sit with them while they cook.  You should be stirring (I prefer a whisk) them constantly.  If you don’t?  They’ll turn into a rock.  Seriously.  When I could tell that the water was getting close to the boiling point?  I peeled and smashed two garlic cloves and tossed them in to add flavor.  Once the vegetable broth was absorbed I reduced the heat, added about 4 or 5 tablespoons of ricotta cheese (it adds creaminess and gives a little depth of flavor), threw in my onion and tossed in about 1/2 of a small package of blue cheese.  Keep stirring so everything melts into creamy amazingness.  They were so good I thought about them all day!

These are pretty savory grits.  You can have them for breakfast with eggs like I did or serve them at dinner with other stuff.  If you don’t want to go the blue cheese route add a different full flavored cheese.  Whatever you like.    Just please, please, PLEASE give them a try.  I promise you’ll like them.

 

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