According to Matt and Ted Lee, older Charlestonians refer to cooked grits at "hominy," despite the difference between this dish and the larger nixtamalized corn used in Mexican cooking. These grits are the the bed for the Lee brothers' shrimp in their classic Shrimp and Grits recipe in their Charleston Kitchen cookbook.
Excerpted with permission from The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen, copyright 2013 by Matt Lee and Ted Lee. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:makes 3 cups
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup stone-ground coarse grits
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour the milk and 2 cups of water into a 2-quart saucepan, cover, and turn the heat to medium high. When the liquid simmers, add the grits, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and reduce the heat to medium. Stir every couple of minutes until the grits have become fragrant, and are the consistency of thick soup, about 8 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often and ever more frequently, for about 20 minutes, by which time the bubbles will emerge infrequently as the grits have stiffened and fall lazily from the end of a spoon. Add 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cook for about 10 minutes more, stirring constantly to prevent the thickened grits from scorching on the bottom of the pan (appoint someone to the stirring task if you have to step away—a scorched pot of grits is bitter and a total loss). If your grits thicken too quickly, or if they are too gritty for your taste, add water by the half cup, stirring to incorporate, and continue cooking until tender.
When the grits are stiff and stick well to the spoon, turn off the heat and stir. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and serve immediately.