The first time I had grits was when I made this recipe a year ago. It was the best first date I’ll ever have. A little skeptical, a little nervous, but still very excited. I wanted them to be savory. I wanted them to be decadent. I never knew I could experience love so quick. Well, that’s not true. My fastest food love was with the frozen custard from Shake Shack. Love in its purest form, as far as I’m concerned. Okay, but back to the grits. I have to tell you the moment I knew I found the right recipe. This was even before I tried the grits. I found the recipe from food and wine, contributed by Amber Huffman in 2008. To know there were six full years where I didn’t make these still haunts me at night. The description of the grits is a quote by Amber. “I seriously have received three marriage proposals over a bowl of my cheese grits,” says chef Amber Huffman. “I’ve accepted none so far.” That made me laugh. So, I knew I found the right recipe. After I tasted my first bite, and popped my eyes back into my sockets, I concurred. I finally understood what a true comfort food was.
The recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of butter. I’ve never been one to cut butter out of anything but I did with this. When you use heavy cream, chicken broth and cheese, it’s okay to cut the butter in half. I’m sorry butter, I love you. There really is still a lot of butter, and it made no difference.
Grits are a great side dish. Served with chicken or shrimp, you can’t go wrong. When I’m feeling like real comfort, (usually on a day off) I will make them for breakfast. That’s what I did this time. A few days ago I made a batch of pickled jalapenos (recipe here) which were the perfect match for these grits. Then, I added an egg. It was my day off, leave me alone. I cooked an underloved soft-boiled egg. Which is really my favorite and I hate forgetting that. You get caught up with the poached egg and the fried egg that you forget all about the soft-boiled. The grits were cheesy and velvet, the jalapenos were a fiery touch, then the egg calmed down the spoonful. If you serve these grits for a first date, you will be proposed to. If you have a first date with these grits, you will be monogamous.
Also, an update on my best friend, “the California girl” who I made the salmon for. She still has not made it, but her mother has. Which makes me laugh. I have been ensured she will “make it eventually”, and I’m sure she will.
Amber Huffman’s Marriage Proposal Grits
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup of old fashioned grits (or quick grits, if you want)
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the garlic and slowly stir in the grits.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the grits are tender, 20 minutes (about 5-7 for quick grits).
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter and cream. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.