Time to grab the insta-pots and pressure cookers and prepare one of my favorites, and I do mean, ‘favorite’ recipes. I did this dish in 2018 and my family became addicted to the intense flavors. And then there are grits, yummy, but maybe not so yummy if you don’t know how to prepare them.
Typically I hear stories about how nasty grits are. But perhaps a closer look will reveal a few secrets of which you were not aware. First, like quinoa it’s about half the carbohydrates when compared to potatoes, rice and pasta. Grits can be dressed up to enhance the flavors. I like to add peppers, onion and even tomatoes to mine. Of course, there’s always cheese! If you will purchase stone ground grits the flavor will be bolder and a better quality. What’s in the instant packets is ok for a quick fix, but remember to check the sodium content.
Sometimes it’s good to pour grits into a 9 x 13 baking pan, chill and cut into squares. When you fry eggs in the morning sauté the grit squares and it’s a terrific breakfast. Instead of serving a creamy shrimp dish over pasta pour it over grits. There is a small population of folks who enjoy grits with cinnamon and sugar, much like oatmeal. Some of my best memories with grits were when Terry and Gary Durand would invite me to their home for sloppy joes and baked cheese grits.
Grillades are from the south. Paula Deen used to talk about them in the early days. I remember in one of her shows her brother, Bubba had just made a pot of grillades and invited her over for supper. It got me wondering just what this dish was all about.
Grillades actually come from New Orleans and are pronounced Gree yahds. Typically they’re a little spicy and served over warm grits for breakfast or brunch.
Many southern families will insist they’re served at weddings, funerals and family celebrations. The type of meat can vary from beef to pork.
I love the richness of what I like to call the gravy. One thing for sure is your family and friends will love this recipe. Our son, Phillip, loves this dish, however he enjoys his grillades served with mashed potatoes. I felt the accompaniment of the mashed potato mellowed out the grillades; whereas the grits definitely did not.
We are busy on the home front packing our son, Phillip, for college. The first load for his apartment goes next week. I know it will be hard to send him off on this new adventure, but I’m also excited for him. I’ll have to learn to prepare smaller amounts of food!
Happy cooking, I hope you have time to try this dish. Simply Yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com.
New Orleans Grillades with polenta/grits
Grits or Polenta
44 ounces chicken stock, low sodium, if possible
1 1/3 cups quick cooking grits or polenta
4 ounces cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon Black Kettle seasoning salt
Butter or oil of choice, 2-3 tablespoons for 6 pieces
Bring stock to a boil in saucepan, add grits and return to boil. Cover grits lowering temperature until thickened. (Around 5-7 minutes, often never covering, just stirring continuously.) Remove from heat and stir in seasonings and cheese. Line a 9 x 13 metal baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with vegetable spray. Pour in grits, smoothing evenly. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or place in freezer for 30-45 minutes. Lift foil from baking dish and cut grits into desired serving sizes.
Grits may be fried in a skillet with butter or oil. Brown each side before covering with grillades. Another method that works is to pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place cut serving squares onto a parchment covered pan. Bake at 400 for ten-fifteen minutes, remove and flip squares for an additional ten-fifteen minutes.
Many ingredients can be added to grits or polenta, at the cook’s discretion.
The grits can also be served straight from the saucepan and topped with the grillades.
2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
7 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons creole seasoning of choice
Gallon Ziploc bag
1/3 cup oil of choice
1 (14.5 oz.) can chopped tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
3 tablespoons left over oil drippings or additional butter
12-14 green onions chopped
1 cup chopped red, yellow or orange pepper
1 cup shredded carrot, chopped into small pieces
1 large stalk of celery, chopped small
6 large cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup white flour
2 1/4 cups beef stock
1 1/2 teaspoons creole seasonings
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1/4 cup minced/diced parsley
Place creole seasoning & 7 tablespoons of flour into gallon Ziploc bag. Tossing to distribute. Position chunks of meat inside the bag and coat evening. Heat 1/3 cup of oil over medium/medium high heat. Place coated meat into heated oil and brown evenly. Remove and drain placing meat into the pressure cooker.
Add can of tomatoes and 1 cup of beef stock. Place lid on cooker and set at level #2. Turn heat source to medium/medium high. Bring meat under pressure, (7-8 minutes). When sizzle begins lower heat to medium low/low without losing the
‘sizz’. Time for 10-11 minutes. Turn off heat source and release pressure manually when ready. If your hands are busy with vegetables turn cooker off and let it set until ready, then release.
While the meat is under pressure return to the skillet. Remove excessive oil and reserve back at least 3 tablespoons of oil for the vegetables. Also save any meat drippings, if possible. Add peppers, carrots, and celery cooking over medium heat followed by the onions and garlic. Make sure all vegetable are soft before removing from heat. Release pressure manually and open the pressure cooker, adding the vegetables.
In the same skillet you will now prepare a roux. Melt 4 tablespoons butter. With a wooden spoon work 1/3 cup of flour into the butter. Cook until mixture has achieved a Carmel color tone. Stir in beef stock followed by the creole seasonings, black pepper and instant coffee. Blend using a whisk until thick and bubbly. Pour into the pressure cooker and stir to blend. Add 1/4 cup of diced parsley at this time. May serve immediately or simmer a bit if desired.
Place grits on plate or bowl and ladle grillades over the top. Garnish with more parsley or garnishes of choice.
Using the pressure cooker speeds up the serving of this meal by at least 1 hour.