Grits and the Biscuit Bowl
By Joyce Lavene
From Death on Eat Street
By J.J. Cook
Can you write a book about southern cooking and NOT mention grits? My mother, and grandmother would turn over in their graves at the thought. They, and the rest of my large, southern family from Charleston, South Carolina would be horrified. Grits is as much a treat as a mainstay for southern cooks.
My mother made grits every way possible when I was growing up. She had to make a special trip to grocer in downtown Chicago to get grits, but we made that pilgrimage faithfully. My mother served the ground corn with milk and sugar, ketchup and bacon grease, and cheese. It could have eggs in it, or chicken. It was possible to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It was good for you when you were sick, and would make things better when you had a bad grade on your report card. The miracle food.
People have been boiling and baking grits in the south for four hundred years. It seemed like a natural thing to talk about grits in my new book, Death on Eat Street about a young woman named Zoe Chase who goes into business for herself with a food truck in Mobile, Alabama. She makes biscuit bowls (like bread bowls but more amazing) and fills them with sweet and savory foods. Of course she fills some of them with grits.
A simple recipe she uses is cheesy grits. Here is how she does it.
Make one serving of quick cook grits. Use slightly less water (only a few tablespoons) and let it cook on the stove or in the microwave. It should be thicker than normal grits after it sets. Add 2 ounces of cheese (Zoe likes cheddar but you can use any kind you like). Stir and heat for another minute or two. Serve with butter, and salt and pepper. YUM!
Zoe puts hers into a deep fried biscuit bowl, but you can eat yours out of a bowl, or as my mother did from on top of toasted bread.
And look for my new release: Death on Eat Street from J.J. Cook, and Berkley Prime Crime - in stores and online now.