Creamy Stone Ground Cheese Grits

Authentic grits, full of corn flavor, are ground between stones the old fashioned way to leave bits and pieces of the outer “germ” layer intact. The simple truth is that true stone-ground grits taste nothing like the run-of-the-mill kind you find on most supermarket shelves. South Carolina is famous for ‘em. They take longer to cook, but well worth the wait.–Emeril Lagasse

LC Perfect Partners Note

If you’re not tucking into these grits for breakfast, consider making them as an unspeakably inspired–and quite essential–companion for Smothered Shrimp and Andouille over Stone Ground Grits. You won’t regret it, that we can promise.

Creamy Stone Ground Cheese Grits Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup stone-ground grits
  • 1/2 pound white Cheddar cheese, grated

Directions

  • 1. To make the cheese grits, combine the water, milk, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits and cook, stirring frequently so the grits don’t stick to the bottom of the pan, for 1 1/4 hours to 1 1/2 hours. (Editor’s Note: We found that, depending on the size of the pan and the flame, the grits were sometimes creamy and done after 45 to 60 minutes. Still, the longer you cook them, arguably the creamier they become. If the grits absorb all of the water and milk during this time, just add a little hot water as needed to thin out the grits until they reach the desired consistency.)
  • 2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of the butter and the Cheddar cheese. Serve the cheese grits immediately or set aside for a little while and reheat over very low heat.
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Testers Choice

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Testers Choice
Lori Widmeyer

Oct 04, 2010

I always loved grits when I was growing up and have memories of being so excited as a little girl when I knew my mom was making grits. Usually they were served as a breakfast-for-dinner item or to go along with fresh-caught seafood. When I got to college and out on my own, I tried them in the school cafeteria and later bought versions you can make in the microwave or quickly at home and was beyond disappointed with them all. The texture and taste were nothing like my memories! I gave up on grits. Then, a few years ago at one of our favorite little restaurants—the kind where the menu is new each time you go because it is truly what the chef found fresh and created that day—my husband's meal came with creamy cheesy grits with blackened tuna on top. Just by the "mmmmm" noises he could not control, I had to take a bite, and the memories flooded back. I had to find out how to make the perfect creamy, cheesy grits. Since that time I have tried a lot of recipes in search of grits that would meet the high standard of my memories, some with much heavier ingredients than this recipe (i.e., cream, butter). Yet this recipe reached—or maybe exceeded—the goal. And it is SO easy. I wouldn't change a thing. I made these to go with simple grilled sausages as a quick summer meal. Yes, the cooking time is long, but I didn't feel like I was actively cooking the entire time, just occasionally stirring. There is so little clean up compared to most dishes that even that part was easy. We thought the seasoning was perfect, too. My husband usually thinks grits need more salt, but he didn't need to add any to this recipe. I think these would be perfect for brunch, with any seafood, even steak for a change from potatoes, and it went great with the sausages. Definitely a new family favorite.


Comments
Comments
  1. Totally love in a pot David!!! I just made grits for dinner this week. I like to add beer, a mix of onions and garlic sauteed in cumin and paprika, a few diced tomatoes, and of course cheese. YUM! I could eat them every day.

    • David Leite says:

      Amy, I completely hear you. The beer sounds great. What kind of cheese do you use?

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Hi Amy,

      I love, love, love cheese grits. (And I have to agree with Emeril, we do have the best grits here in South Carolina!)

      • David Leite says:

        I can attest to that. Beth sent me a bag of South Carolina white grits and, boy, do I love them. I’m guess I’m just a good ole Southern boy at heart (who can’t live with out New England clam chowder and fried clams….)

  2. Fran says:

    Ok, I think you’ve convinced me. This Jersey girl has tried grits, but never found the redeeming value in them — they were soooo blah. I picked up a package of Stone Ground grits at Williams-Sonoma a while ago so now it’s time to use the package. I’m going to give this recipe a go along with the shrimp and andouille recipe you suggest.

    Surely if guys from MA get into grits, this Jersey girl can too!

    • David Leite says:

      Fran, you got to try it. I added considerably more milk, as I like my grits loose and creamy, but it was fantastic. (That whole pot was gone 20 minutes after we shot it)

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