Sunday, April 14, 2024

ECHO EATS: True Grits

These uncooked grits have a beautiful color and texture before and after cooking. Photo by Cybele Tamulonis, 12/2023.

Decidedly southern, and the official state food of Georgia, how did grits make their way to northern New Jersey? The truth is they’ve always been here. Where there’s corn, there’s grits. Rooted in a dish called rockahomine made by the Native American Muscogee and Cree nations, grits are a porridge made from coarsely ground dry corn. Grits got its name from “grist” as in the gristmill used to grind them. Grits can be eaten as a breakfast meal on their own or garnished with different flavors and proteins to make a filling entrée.

Cooked grits will fill you up fast! These plain grits are ready for breakfast. Photo by Cybele Tamulonis, 12/2023.

The grits in this recipe are made from Wapsie Valley Corn sourced from Esh Farm in Readersburg, Pennsylvania and stone milled at Marksboro Mills on Route 94 by River Valley Community Grains. Grits are a filling and flexible way to fill hungry bellies with warmth as we move into the colder months. 

The grits used in this recipe were sourced from Marksboro Mills on Route 94 in Marksboro. Photo by Cybele Tamulonis, 12/2023.

True Grits (serves 4-6)

Ingredients


2 cups of grits from Marksboro Mills

4 cups of water

6 tablespoons of butter, cut up and at room temperature

¼ cup of parmesan cheese

1 cup of fresh Springhouse Dairy whole milk (shaken to combine the cream top)

Directions

  • Put the water and the grits in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a lid and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally
  • Once boiling, take off heat and let rest for 15 minutes
  • After the grits rest, slowly stir in the butter, milk and cheese until combined.

Serve hot!

Noshing Notes: You can simplify this recipe by leaving out the cheese. You can also play with the amount of water and milk (or cream) you are using as well, to increase or lessen the richness of the dish.

Suggested Sides: Grits are the “little black dress of your kitchen” and go with anything. Since it is such a versatile food, you can go sweet or savory. For savory, add cheese, mushrooms or top with your favorite protein for dinner. For sweet, add syrup, dried fruit and milk for a hot, “stick to your ribs” breakfast. 

You can elevate your grits game by using them as a base for lambchops, as pictured here, or other proteins. Photo by Cybele Tamulonis, 12/2023

Waste Not, Want Not: There will likely be nothing left! But grits can stay in the fridge in a sealed container for about five days if they are kept separate from any additions to them (meat, seafood etc.). Reheat by adding a little milk or water.

If you want to pick up some grits, you can visit Marksboro Mills on Route 94 in Marksboro. Their hours are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Their phone number is 551-795-1699.

Cybele Tamulonis
Cybele Tamulonis, Contributing Writer

Cybele is a writer and editor with more than 16 years in the publishing industry. An avid reader, you can usually find her with the latest new book release from the local library. She currently resides on a farm in Hardwick with her husband and four children. In her spare time, she writes historical fiction specific to New Jersey.