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(Greensboro News-Record)   Yankee tries grits, lives to tell about it   ( divider line
    More: Amusing, Yankees, porkchops, salt and pepper, hot sauces, Yankee tries  
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5062 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Oct 2012 at 9:10 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-10-14 11:01:36 AM  
I'm kind of intrigued. How do you cook basic, no-nonsense grits?
2012-10-14 11:09:43 AM  

Nogale: I'm kind of intrigued. How do you cook basic, no-nonsense grits?

Cook 'em in salted boiling water for about 20 minutes. About 4:1 water:grits. Easy peasy.

Can use milk instead of water if youre feeling fancy :)
2012-10-14 11:21:07 AM  
Also, stir as soon as you put the grits in (for smoothiness), and stir occasionally.
2012-10-14 11:34:31 AM  

plainlyclueless: Don't tell 'em about hominy.

Or farina, heh.

What's amusing to me is that a very popular Northern dish is cornbread. Which is just biscuits made with some added grits.

To be entirely fair, and to clarify a source of confusion in this thread, we use a lot of different words for what are all just slightly different preparations of dried maize:
- whole cob (used mostly for decoration)
- whole kernel (unground, mostly used in the U.S. for popcorn)
- hominy (whole kernels treated with lye* -- used in Latin America for mote, a kind of whole-grain grits)
- polenta / angu / cornmeal mush / grits (all the same thing -- coarse-ground hominy)
- cornmeal (finer ground corn, typically untreated; most is used in baking or sometimes for samp porridge)
- masa (hominy cornmeal treated with limewater, used to make tortillas**)
- cornflour*** (very finely ground, typically used in breading and to reduce gluten in wheatflour-based recipes; if treated, it's 'masa harina,' an ingredient in tortillas)
- cornstarch -- finely ground product made by grinding only the endosperm (starchy part) of maize

* The reason for this has to do with nutrition. The human digestive system is unable to liberate niacin, a vital nutrient, from untreated corn. As a subsistence crop, untreated corn will eventually lead to a deficiency known as pellagra. The treatment (known as 'nixtamalization' also liberates two other vital nutrients, lysine and tryptophan, but not in sufficient quantities: If eaten for subsistence, corn must also be eaten alongside high-protein foods such as beans, in order to get whole and balanced nutrition. Modern strains of maize have been bred to deliver higher levels of lysine, but it must still be liberated by alkali treatment in order for us to benefit from it.

** This treatment, along with nixtamalizatoin, also makes the calcium content more accessible, helping to balance the high phosphorus content.

*** Some of our Commonwealth friends, especially British and Australian, use this term synonymously with what we call 'cornstarch'. They are not the same thing, however. True cornflour is made from *whole* ground corn (treated or not). Cornstarch is made from ground maize endosperm. Since we haven't come up with a better word for 'really finely ground whole maize,' I suggest our Commonwealth friends start using 'cornstarch' for the product that's mostly starch, since we're never going to stop calling the whole-maize product 'cornflour'.
2012-10-14 11:36:39 AM  
Did someone say "nutritional anthropologist"?
2012-10-14 11:40:15 AM  

GRCooper: Boursin

I dunno. Tastes vary, but I really like the tangy bite of bleus, and would probably feel the sweet would ruin it. But I'm willing to try anything, so why not?

I've always seen the party polenta loaves with cream cheese or chevre (almost always with flavourful additions), but Boursin or any other soft cheese, especially flavoured varieties, would be worth trying.
2012-10-14 11:41:21 AM  

crabsno termites: OgreMagi: Grits are awesome. Fried okra (another Southern favorite), however, is the devil's own food. Evil, nasty, slimmy pile of yuck.

Properly fried, not slimy - good. Boiled okra, on the other hand, is good for nothing other than thickening gumbo.

/and not very good for that.

I'm kind of partial to pickled okra myself. Have had both good fired okra, and slimy fried okra. The latter is pretty disappointing,

OT, I love grits. My girlfriend will make them for Sunday breakfast every so often but I'm the only one who eats them. For not liking them herself she makes them quite well.
2012-10-14 11:49:02 AM  

Bucky Katt: KeelingLovesCornholes: Garlic cheese grits casserole is a Thanksgiving requirement. Tha bomb...


seconded. I want to try this out.
2012-10-14 12:36:59 PM  

Benjimin_Dover: Cream of Wheat is very similar to grits but better in the way that pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie are similar but the pumpkin is superior to the other.

I think you may have inadvertently swapped those. They are similar in that grits may be the tastiest thing to ever decend from heaven while cream of wheat is best used for sopping up old motor oil off the driveway. That stuff is NASTY.
2012-10-14 12:55:03 PM  

My company opened a new store in Biloxi, MS earlier this year. I went for the grand opening weekend. We literally had shrimp and grits for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The caterer's breakfast ones were great but if you ever find yourself in Biloxi go to Back Bay restaurant and order them. They do a Gouda Shrimp Mushroomy delicious thing along with a couple fried grit cakes. OMFGYUMNUMYUM. It's heaven in a bowl.
2012-10-14 01:28:18 PM  

hubiestubert: Gig103: Grits are completely devoid of flavor and have that unappetizing gruel / phlegm consistency. If you add butter, cheese, bacon, etc... they just taste like whatever you put in them, but again with that consistency.

And flour and water alone are pretty damn much tasteless pap. A dish has to have balance. Oatmeal on its own, is pretty much just warm oats. Do you eat pasta alone? Do you just shove flour into your gob? Preparation is everything.

You make a fair point. Except I've never seen plain pasta on a menu but the grits I had were plain. I don't eat plain oatmeal either, but oats aren't as devoid of flavor as grits.
2012-10-14 02:09:23 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: anfrind: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: New Age Redneck: GRCooper

Next up, this Evel Kneivel of the food world will eat polenta. 

Cornmeal. Polenta and grits are just cornmeal, no? Isn't the thing with both is that they are regarded as poverty food?

/always mixed cornmeal with my oatmeal for breakfast....mind you I am poor....f*ck....:D

I mix in cornmeal specifically to make it grainier and less like soggy paper in a bowl of glue.

If you want oatmeal to have a good texture, use steel-cut oats instead of rolled. Steel-cut oats look like this before cooking:
[ image 540x370]

They take about half an hour to cook on a stovetop, or ten minutes if you use a pressure cooker. You can also use a slow cooker and let them cook overnight, although you have to be a little extra careful about the water content (nobody likes to wake up to burnt food). Or if you have an electric pressure cooker, you can set the timer for ten minutes, take your morning shower, and they'll be ready to eat as soon as you come out.

Thanks for the tip!

One thing I've been doing for years is letting the oats soak overnight in some youghurt and water. I make my own yoghurt, which is plain and delicious, and add a certain amount of that (often with some raisins, currants, or the like). Then just enough water to cover. By morning they're soft and tangy and ready to go. Just add more water and cook till hot. The other things I add in -- farina, cornmeal, and bran -- are for additional nutrition, flavour, and texture. But I have to confess, I've never been happy with plain oats, and I'm starting to realise that it's got to do with how I've been cooking them all these years -- and as you point out, perhaps my choices in oats to start with.

I do enjoy yogurt as a topping for oatmeal, but I've never actually cooked it in yogurt.

If you're going to look for steel-cut oats in stores, the McCann's tin is what you're most likely to find:
fitnessgurunyc.comView Full Size

However, if your grocery store has a bulk section, you can usually get steel-cut oats in bulk for cheaper. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can try whole oats, although as I mentioned in an earlier post, those take about three hours to cook on a stove (or just under one hour if you use a pressure cooker).
2012-10-14 02:32:53 PM  

radiobiz: Benjimin_Dover: Cream of Wheat is very similar to grits but better in the way that pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie are similar but the pumpkin is superior to the other.

I think you may have inadvertently swapped those. They are similar in that grits may be the tastiest thing to ever decend from heaven while cream of wheat is best used for sopping up old motor oil off the driveway. That stuff is NASTY.

Hehe. Fair nuff, brutha!
2012-10-14 02:34:15 PM  

Nogale: I'm kind of intrigued. How do you cook basic, no-nonsense grits?

First you snatch some corn. Then you bander it around a bit. Add some water and heat a viola.
2012-10-14 03:11:20 PM  

TomD9938: from Ohio. I've also lived in Illinois and Nebraska. I grew up in Washington state.

a Yankee. A big ol' Yankee.

So... damn near everyone is a Yankee? That doesnt sound right.


Pretty sure that in the South, anyone with a "Yankee accent" is a Yankee, as far as they're concerned.
2012-10-14 03:21:03 PM  
anfrind, Sylvia_Bandersnatch, GRCooper

2012-10-14 04:26:41 PM  
This thread is proof that we need a permanent food tab. Get Farkers started on food and cooking and we just don't shut up.
2012-10-14 07:19:26 PM  
Hominy grits?

A zillion!

/can't believe I'm the first...

/big ol' grits fan. Cheese, hot sauce, and biscuits and gravy. And bacon.
2012-10-14 07:37:17 PM  
I happened to be shopping at Sprouts Farmer's Market in Sunnyvale, CA a few hours ago, and this thread motivated me to check their bulk prices on oats and corn:

Rolled oats: $0.99/pound
Steel-cut oats: $0.99/pound
Cornmeal: $0.79/pound
Grits: $1.49/pound

(I didn't see any whole corn or whole oat groats in their bulk section.)

Maybe it's different in other parts of the country, and maybe things have changed over time, but at least in Silicon Valley right now, it looks like oatmeal is actually cheaper than grits. In fact, while I don't remember the exact prices, I noticed that oats were also cheaper than rice.
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