I did a lot of cooking this weekend. After all of this with my dad’s health, all of this stress and tension piling on, the cooking finally felt right again. I can’t really explain it, but it felt like I got my groove back. It felt so wonderful to be in the kitchen again, chopping and stirring and cleaning up after myself. And yes, I am one of those people. I clean as I go, and I enjoyed every last minute of it. Every one.
One of the things I made was a pumpkin bread pudding. The sauce I made to go with it broke, but I didn’t care much. The bread pudding was great without the sauce. I plan to share the recipe with you, but I can’t share it yet. I will soon – maybe later this week – but there is something else that takes priority. Something more important.
Creamy, luscious, and perfectly-salted grits.
The type of grits that, when you taste a warm spoonful on your tongue, closing your lips completely around the spoon, you immediately and involuntarily close your eyes and emit a soft sound, almost like a purr, from somewhere deep inside. You can’t help it, that sound. It just comes.
You get the picture. Grits rock.
The culinary trend for all things Southern has made me very happy of late. It means I can generally find grits on restaurant menus – whether for breakfast or dinner. Sometimes the bowl of grits has an orange hue indicating contamination by cheddar cheese, but I’ve learned to ask about the cheddar before ordering.
I made these grits in the slow cooker, a method that eliminates the constant stirring that my usual creamy grits recipe calls for. Actually, I made a couple of batches in the slow cooker this weekend, just to get the texture of the grits right. I was aiming for creamy, without a hint of graininess. This method, using a bain marie technique, turned out to be just the trick.
The pumpkin bread pudding recipe will come later. Today, grits take priority.
Slow Cooker Creamy Southern Grits
Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Usually, creamy stone-ground grits -- not the quick cooking kind, mind you -- require standing at the stove top and stirring, for up to an hour. This recipe eliminates the need for that, while satisfying your craving for the best grits, ever. They really don't even need butter, but you can add it, for looks, if you wish.
Note: You will need a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker.
1 cup stone-ground grits (not quick cooking)
2 cups water
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a 4-cup glass measuring cup (or similar size bowl), stir together grits, water, milk, cream, and salt. Carefully place the glass bowl/measuring cup (with the grits mixture in it) in a slow cooker, and add enough cold water to the slow cooker to come about half-way up the outside of the glass measuring cup which holds the oats mixture.
Cook on low setting for about 8 hours or overnight. Remove slow cooker lid and stir grits well to break up any lumps.