Feeding the Soul with Garlicky, Cheesy Grits

Recipe Source Susie Studer, Southern Roots Restaurant,
Tillamook, OR

Number of servings: 6

4 cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 small cloves garlic, minced well, or to taste
½ cup heavy cream, or substitute milk for a lighter dish
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked quick grits, see notes below
2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, optional

1. Boil water in medium pot over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, heat small skillet on medium heat. Melt butter in skillet, then add minced garlic. Cook just until tender, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Once water boils, turn down to medium heat and stir in cream. Add salt, then slowly add grits while stirring constantly. When starting to bubble, turn heat down to medium-low and simmer. Continue to cook and stir often until mixture is thickened and creamy, about 5 minutes.
3. Add garlic and butter along with cheese. Continue to cook just until cheese melts. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add dashes of hot sauce if desired.

• Choosing grits: Regular or old-fashioned grits will take 10-15 minutes to boil. Instant grits are not recommended. Stone-ground grits may be available, and should be stored in the freezer to maintain freshness. Check package instructions for cooking time.

• Cooking: For creamy grits, slowly pour the grits into the boiling water and cream mixture while stirring. Continue to stir the entire time they are cooking, until creamy and thickened. If the grits thicken too much, add a little more cream and beat to loosen.

• Leftovers: Refrigerate, then cut into wedges before dipping in flour and pan-frying in a skillet. Serve as a side or use to make shrimp and grits.