At the risk of offending my southern friends, grits just ain't that good. Just kind of bland. But, with a little effort, grits can be seasoned and flavored to be Very Very good. And with just a bit more effort, they can be extra ordinary.
The recipe can be found in Bobby Flay's MESA GRILL COOKBOOK. According to his introduction for the dish, "I can see this as a Sunday dinner with the family, with the grits piled in the middle of the plate, surrounded by the shrimp. But the grits are so good, you could also serve them as a side dish for an elaborate meal." ...
Or a side dish for Thanksgiving dinner???
Here's what I did...
1 large Sweet Potato
2 TBS Canola Oil
1/2 Shallot, finely diced
4 cloves Garlic, smashed and minced
2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup whole Milk
2 tsp pureed Chipotle Chile in Adobe Sauce
(yes, from the can, into the mini chopper to puree)
pinch Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking Grits
2 TBS Butter
3 TBS Honey
6 TBS Olive Oil
Fresh ground Black Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Roast the sweet potato in the oven until tender when pierced with a knife (about 45 to 60 minutes)
Peel the sweet potato and puree the flesh in a food processor (or mini chopper)
Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan, add the shallot and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
Add the stock, milk, chipotle puree and salt... bring to a boil.
Slowly whisk in the grits. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the sweet potato puree, stirring frequently for 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth and thickened.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and honey to taste. Cover and keep warm.