Horseradish Cheese Grits

This is my most popular recipe, and for good reason. It’s also my favorite recipe at home!

Grits are so easy, so cheap, so versatile. They are underrated.

I grew up eating typical Southern food, with Tex-Mex as a treat. My mother loves grits, though she prefers hers sweet, with cinnamon and brown sugar.

Until I moved back to Texas at age 26, I hadn’t eaten grits in a long time. After having spent four years exploring the exotic foodstuffs of the UK, and trying desperately to recreate much-loved flavors from home, my return to the U.S. in 2005 signaled the beginning of a culinary schizophrenia.

For the first few months, I binged on Tex-Mex; I ate tons of fried catfish (which I’d never really liked that much before); I feasted on chicken fried steak and gravy. Then a reverse homesickness sat in, and I had to figure out how to make some of my favorite British foods from scratch, with approximate ingredients.

After passing through this baptism by enchilada sauce and Yorkshire pudding, I began to explore some of the more overlooked foods I remembered from childhood. Foremost among these: grits.

I’ve been in a horseradish phase for, oh, two or three years now. One day I was making cheesy grits, and it suddenly struck me that the addition of some horseradish sauce might be interesting. I tentatively dropped about a teaspoon in and stirred it up. I tasted it, and it was good.

Once you try these grits, I swear, plain old cheesy grits will never taste the same again. What was once a treat–buttery, bright yellow, cheesy, warm grits–will seem bland in comparison. I rarely eat grits without horseradish these days, and I use this recipe as the base for many of my other favorite meals, including my weeknight staple: sausage and grits (my secret weapon: this spice rub from Australia).

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup stone-ground yellow grits
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup grated sharp cheese (I used cheddar here)
2 tablespoons horseradish (prepared)
more salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium saucepan, bring milk, salt, and pepper to a boil. Add grits and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring regularly as the mixture thickens (about 25 to 30 minutes). Add more milk (or water) if needed.

2. Add butter and cheese and stir until melted into grits. Add horseradish and stir lightly until mixed in. Serve immediately with additional salt and pepper as desired.

Sausage and Horseradish Cheese Grits, with Crunchy Kale Chips.

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3 thoughts on “Horseradish Cheese Grits

  1. Pingback: Horseradish Edamame Polenta Cakes « The Ginger Baby Reviews

  2. Pingback: This Week’s Eats: 10/19/12 – Atlanta | STELLA COOKS

  3. Pingback: (not exactly) true grit(s) | and then make soup

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