If you’re not from the South, you might not totally “get” grits. But here’s a tip: putting Tillamook Sharp Cheddar inside the thick, creamy porridge is the surest way to send the dish straight to anyone’s heart.
"Grits are a southern staple. It is a relatively simple procedure that can go very wrong if not in the hands of a discerning cook. Southerners generally like their grits pretty bland and basic–lightly salted if any, and with a simple pat of butter on top to give creaminess. Ours have built in the basics of salt and pepper to the lightest degree, and butter and cream for added texture and flavor. We also add cheese for character and complexity. Doesn’t take much effort and the benefits can be tasted immediately, especially when using a product like Tillamook. Like adding milk to cereal, or jelly to a peanut butter sandwich…It just makes sense." – Walt Alexander of Pine State Biscuits
4 cups (32 oz) whole milk
4 cups (32 oz) water
2 cups (12 oz) grits (stone ground with lots of husk)
¾-1 cup (3-4 oz) Tillamook Vintage White Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
3-4 slices (3-4 oz) Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese, broken into chunks
¼ lb (1 stick) Tillamook Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
Chives to garnish
Combine milk and water in a large pan and bring liquid to a boil. Whisk in grits, and make sure to not let the grits clump! Turn down to a simmer and stir constantly. Continue stirring with a whisk and cooking for approximately 45 minutes, until porridge-like consistency is achieved. Add shredded cheese to the grits when they are still a semi-liquid like consistency (they should still be creamy, but acting like they want to grab the ladle. When they stick to the ladle they are fully cooked). When you add the shredded cheese, also add butter, salt, and pepper. Adjust accordingly with more milk if needed. Pour grits into oven-safe serving bowls. Add a few piece of sliced cheese chunks (or more if you’d like!) to the top of each bowl and put under the broiler for about 30 seconds or until cheese is melty. Having the cheese in chunks assists with uniformity and melting the cheese in the grits. Garnish with chives and enjoy!