Recipe: Spicy Cheese Grits


We’re in North Carolina at my family’s beach house, and I’m already inspired by the friendly yet steamy South. Yesterday I bought home-grown yellow tomatoes for $1 per pound and a watermelon so heavy the farmer had to carry it to our car for just $5. Sweet corn and candylike peaches for pennies each. That all inspired me to try a personal spin on homemade grits. Of course lots of cheese and butter (so these aren’t healthy!), but I added two grilled jalapenos, chilled the whole mix in a pie pan (vacation rentals don’t exactly have a plethora of pans), sliced, fried and served warm.

Go to for more pictures of this recipe, nutrition and price information, plus other recipes. Or, check back each Monday for a new tasty dish.

Servings: 8
Time: -20 minutes active; 2 hours total

2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup grits (coarse-ground cornmeal)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons butter (I used Earth Balance)
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 jalapenos, grilled, then chopped finely (warning: this will be hot!; cut back to one pepper for spice without fire)

1. Bring milk, water and salt to a boil in a pot over medium heat. Add grits and minced garlic and stir to incorporate. Cook 15 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove from heat and add butter, cheese and peppers. Mix well.

3. You could serve here for soft grits. To make cakes, spray a cake or pie pan with cooking spray. Pour the grits mixture in and chill about 90 minutes.

4. Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Cut grits into wedges or bars and fry until browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve warm, plain or with fried/scrambled eggs for brunch.

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food and is a vegetarian—she doesn’t believe these things are mutually exclusive. A vegetarian for the past nine years, Capps created as a way to share her passion for eating, drinking and cooking—and to make vegetarianism more accessible. The blog transforms meat dishes into vegetarian or improves vegetarian recipes and puts the results up in a weekly post called the Sunday Serving on the blog and at the Facebook Group Vegetarianized. Capps is also a food writer, teaches cooking classes in Davis and is an amateur caterer. Upcoming cooking classes and recent food articles are found on the blog home page.