I really love Southwestern spices, and often my cooking takes on a Southwestern twist. I came up with this recipe several years ago. Bruce loves this recipe with a fried egg and bacon.
- 1 cup quick cooking grits
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Chipotle
- 1/2 teaspoon smoky Spanish paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon half-sharp paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 dashes of liquid smoke
- 4 oz of Manchego cheese or Swiss cheese or Jarlsberg cheese or Monterey Jack cheese – Bruce has trouble with cow cheese, so I normally use Manchego cheese, but I have used the cheese listed at various times, and they have been good. You need a cheese that will melt, but not be stringy. Mozzarella is not a good cheese to use. If making this vegan, see notes below.
- Smoky Spanish paprika to garnish
- If going fancy, scallions thinly sliced on the diagonal for garnish
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A medium sized pot, it should hold at least 6 cups of water, with a lid, spoon for stirring, cheese grater
- Mix spices and herbs together with the salt and pepper
- Grate the cheese
- Pour the 4 cups of water into the pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat
- Slowly stir in the 1 cup of grits
- Stir in the mixed spices and herbs into the grits and put two dashes of the liquid smoke into the grits.
- Turn the temperature down to low, cover the pot of grits, and cook for 5 minutes or so. At high altitudes, it takes longer, usually 7 to 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the grits don’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
- Once grits are tender, stir in the cheese, a handful at a time. Let the handful of cheese melt before stirring in the next handful of cheese.
- After the last handful of cheese has melted, immediately put the grits into serving bowls.
- Sprinkle the smoky paprika over the grits, and if using scallions, sprinkle them on top of the grits.
This could be made vegan by using nutritional yeast to provide a cheese flavor. I’d start with a teaspoon of nutritional yeast and add more if needed.