Monday, February 23, 2009

Kiss my grits :)

I am totally dating myself by using this title! But I couldn't resist, this catchphrase from the 70s-80s sitcom Alice still makes me laugh. It's been a little chilly in LA lately (I know, I know, it's not Minneapolis-cold, but it's chilly). I live by the beach so we also get dampness, and it's been raining, it's harder to get out of bed when it's chilly (this is a little bit of a whine) I've been craving something hot and rib-sticking in the mornings to start my day. Since I can't have oatmeal or cream of wheat because of my gluten allergy, I rely on grits for breakfast.

For those of you NOT from the south, grits are processed ground corn, which is cooked into hot cereal just like your old childhood favorites. In the south, grits are traditionally served hot at breakfast with butter and salt, or as a savory side dish with cheese added on top. (Or in the REALLY deep south, laced with hot shrimp paste which I love but my sister who actually lives in the south is completely disgusted by. But I digress.) You can buy either regular grits or instant grits. Regular grits are smoother, and taste better, but take about 20-30 minutes to cook. Who's got that kind of time every day? Instant grits take about 5 minutes, but even then you have to be careful to let them cook all the way through on low heat or they get a little crunchy! Whenever I can, I make the regular kind and make extra. Quaker Oats and Albers are some brands of grits that are available in grocery stores.

I'm posting a picture of my morning grits, and instead of butter I used maple syrup and it made for a very pretty picture. Honey would be great too, maybe nuts if you can have them.

Extra bonus -- if you make extra, you can pour the grits into a shallow pan and it will cool into a cake just like polenta. It's great fried -- I use this as a base for lunch or dinner sometimes...throw some meat or veggies on top and where I would ordinarily use mashed potatoes. So versatile!

Note to IBS sufferers... a nice bowl of hot grits with sliced banana and cinnamon sugar tasted like rice pudding and helped out my spastic stomach tonight since I overdid it with dinner (too much animal protein and insoluble fiber...d'oh!). It's a quick alternative to rice if you don't have any already cooked.

As you can tell, I think grits are great! But you don't have to kiss them. Unless you want to.

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