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Lowcountry Creamy Garlic Cheese Grits--

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    Lowcountry Creamy Garlic Cheese Grits--

    Here is my recipe for good garlic cheese grits that can be served as a side with breakfast, lunch or dinner.

    I meant to post this last week (sorry Keith).

    Since there are so many different varieties of grits out there I'll try to keep this a basic as possible.

    The only rule of thumb for type of grits is ANYTHING BUT INSTANT.

    If you use instant grits, the terrorists win. Quick grits are advised against also, but if that is all you have, then so be it -- just no instant grits.


    White, yellow or mixed grits - fresh, stone ground is preferable
    Half and Half
    Fresh shredded med to sharp cheddar cheese It is always preferable to use fresh shredded as bagged shredded cheese has corn starch which may impact your end result.
    Garlic infused ghee (clarified butter)
    Salted butter - NO MARGARINE! (Margarine is one molecule away from being plastic you know)
    Fresh ground pepper

    Here is info on how to make ghee:


    I use the boiling method. If you don't want to make this much as this recipe calls for, just use 1 stick of butter + 1 teaspoon of minced garlic (appx 1 clove) as a rule of thumb. I usually make a 1/2 pound (2 sticks) at a time with 2 teaspoons of minced garlic and strain into a small Mason jar.


    Cook 8 servings of grits per the manufacturer's instructions EXCEPT substitute 1/4 of the water called for in the instructions with Half and Half. Ex. = if recipe calls for 4 cups of water, use 3 cups water and 1 cup Half and Half. Definitely add the recommended salt pre-boil - usually 1 to 1.5 teaspoons.

    Remember to cut the heat when cooking, stir often and do not let burn - if they burn, throw them out and start over -- there is no fixing burnt grits. If grits are sticking to the bottom of the saucepan, you aren't stirring enough. Keep covered when not stirring and watch out for "bubble splash" when the mixture starts thickening - it can burn if not careful. Right before you remove from heat they will look like bubbling lava.

    After grits have cooked thoroughly (usually 10 mins or so), remove from heat. You want the consistency to be about like medium pancake batter when you remove from heat. Is better to err on the thin side since you can always heat excess water out, but you don't want them completely runny. Add a little water if you need to.

    While the grits are still very hot and just removed from heat, stir in 2 cups of cheese, 2 tablespoons salted butter, 1 tablespoon garlic ghee and 1 teaspoon of fresh black pepper into hot grits. Stir until completely blended. Taste and add more salt to taste, but be careful not to over-salt. Grits are like rice in that they definitely need a decent amount of salt, but too much and you may have to throw them out (been there, done that).

    It really is that easy. Some recipes I have seen (usually from restaurants) cook their grits for an hour or more - this is overkill IMHO.

    Here is the local brand of grits I prefer to use:

    Click image for larger version

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    I normally go the mixed route.

    The are available online at:


    For breakfast I usually grab an extra large pasta type bowl and place a piece of toast on the bottom, add 2-3 decent scoops of grits, plop 2 over easy eggs on top of the grits and then sprinkle with some more cheese on top and usually some type of breakfast meat on the side.

    A great side for lunch or dinner - goes especially well with pork, chicken or shrimp. Beef - not so much.

    Refrigerate leftovers and just re-heat with a couple of tablespoons of water to regain the proper consistency.

    I plan on making these tomorrow morning as part of my Saturday morning ritual when I am off work, so I'll take some pics and post them then for added reference.

    Apologies again Keith - work has been kicking my azz here lately.
    Last edited by HC in SC; January 23, 2015, 11:37 AM.

    Thank you!! Going to give this a shot this weekend


      Originally posted by HC in SC View Post
      Salted butter - NO MARGARINE! (Margarine is one molecule away from being plastic you know)
      And table salt is only a single atom away from being hydrochloric acid. "One molecule" is all the difference in the world. But I won't use margarine in this recipe :-)


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        True enough, however, I just can't trust something that even flies won't touch. LOL

        I grew up in the 70s when margarine was allegedly a healthy alternative to butter, so that is what was always in our house since real butter had been deemed bad for you. i guess I hold a slight grudge against margarine for this reason. It also tastes horrible IMHO, but that could be one of those "aversion" things Huskee was talking about in another post.

      You'll scoff at this I'm quite sure... But my favorite way to have grits is with sugar on them. And if I drink tea it must be unsweetened. That's how things should be, but I understand there are those of you with weird tastes....lol!


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Believe it or not I HATE sweet tea. Especially sickeningly over sweet tea. Unsweetened is the way I roll also.

        As far a sugar on grits - that kinda makes more of a Farina (Cream of wheat) taste I'm guessing. Kinda weird, but whatever puts lead in your pencil!

        I like sugar on cheese toast - also like peanuts in a 6 1/4 oz bottle of Coke. I'm just crazy like that - lol!

      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        Lol, I always say it makes my grits taste like Cream of Wheat! My wife says I'm nuts (she was born in TN) and she has my kids trained to put butter and cheese on grits and sugar in their tea. Buncha crazies anyway.

        I've tried the peanuts in Coke thing, it tasted like peanuts accidentally got put in my Coke, lol. Not a good thing. Sugar on cheese toast? Wow, that's interesting.

      ... also like peanuts in a 6 1/4 oz bottle of Coke. I'm just crazy like that - lol!
      I know someone who can help you with that... LOL


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        ...salted peanuts of course... LOL

      Family is eating these right now with an over easy egg on top. They're a hit! One question: would it make a huge difference if I substituted another tablespoon of butter and a couple cloves of minced garlic for the ghee? Because making the ghee was a pretty big pain for the amount I used


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Not a major difference - in fact before learning to make infused ghee that is the way I made them -- even have used granulated garlic.

        I think the ghee is more smooth an mellow and gives more of an undertone of garlic instead of a more pronounced minced garlic or garlic powder.

        Feel free to experiment - sometimes I add chives, sometime bacon. As long as you follow the recipe until you remove from heat, you are golden!

        Sorry for the late reply - hope this helps!

      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        I also meant to mention the garlic ghee (or any other infused ghee like rosemary, thyme, etc) is excellent for reverse searing steaks or even on bread -- really anywhere you would use butter, try the ghee for a richer flavor and infuse with herbs you like. It's really good as a finishing butter for steaks as well.

      They hold up to reheating well too!


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment

      A funny thing about grits, besides how good they are. In the restaurant, if we we call them grits, nobody will buy them, no matter how good. If we call it polenta(pretty much the same thing).they fly out the door! HC's recipe is typical of good cheese grit/polenta recipes. What does that mean? It means their 'effin good!


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for that info - I have seen polenta made / served on several shows and always thought it really resembled super-thick grits.

      • _Keith
        _Keith commented
        Editing a comment
        I always thought that polenta was made from a much finer grind of flour. But yeah, it's sad that people have such a wrong-headed notion about grits.

      Strat, one thing restaurants down here in Florida that are not local ( chains) don't get. You have to salt grits while they are cooking otherwise they are not good. I have thrown them out too with too much salt but I would not have eaten them anyway without enough salt.
      Last edited by Guy; January 30, 2015, 05:08 PM.


      • Strat50
        Strat50 commented
        Editing a comment
        True that. I've never even been to the South and I know this. Most cooked grains have this property.

      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep. same-same for any type of rice.

      • fzxdoc
        fzxdoc commented
        Editing a comment
        And pasta!

      HC, I get this Charleston Favorites brand of grits in my grocery store. It's the only brand I will use. Makes the best grits ever!

      Thanks for the recipe--it's always fun to try out grits recipes.




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