Three Cheese Grits with Poached Eggs

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I was reading an article about a restaurant in Cambridge that makes grits with poached eggs and I thought “Yum, I can totally make that.” Here is my personal take on that concept, with plenty of cheesy goodness. You’ll likely have some leftover cheese grits at the end of breakfast, so I’ve included a suggestion below for fried polenta – delicious for breakfast or as a side dish with dinner. If you just need suggestions for making poached eggs, that is laid out separately in the instructions below. Serve this tasty dish with some whole grain toast for dipping in the yolk and smearing with the grits. YUM!

INGREDIENTS
GRITS:
2 Cups Corn Grits (I use Bob’s Red Mill or Weisenberger)
6 Cups Water
1 Cup Heavy Cream (Milk or Half and Half is OK, too)
Fresh Ground Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
2 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper (or Chili Powder)
1/2 Cup Gruyere Cheese, shredded
1/2 Cup Irish Cheddar, shredded
1/2 Cup Parmesan, shredded*
*Any combination of 3 cheeses can be substituted.

EGGS:
6 Eggs (or as many as desired)
2 Tsp White Vinegar
Fresh Ground Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. In a non-stick sauce pan boil 6 Cups Water, add Sea Salt. Add 2 Cups Corn Grits, stir thoroughly, reduce to simmer. Add Heavy Cream, Cayenne Pepper, Black Pepper and Sea Salt to Taste. Stir thoroughly then cover with a lid. Let simmer on very low heat for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure grits aren’t sticking to the pan.
2. Prepare all cheese in a small bowl, shred if needed.
3. When grits are finished – creamy and thick – add cheese and stir thoroughly. Cook a few more minutes to melt cheese.
4. While grits are cooking prepare eggs as detailed below.
5. Spoon cheese grits into bowl. Strain water off of poached eggs with a slatted spoon and place gently on top of grits. Top with a little Fresh Ground Pepper. Enjoy!

FOR POACHED EGGS:
– In a wide, deep pan bring 3 inches of water (with 2 Tsp White Vinegar) to a boil. Preferably use a non-stick pan to keep eggs from sticking to the bottom, and use a wide enough pan to accommodate the number of eggs you plan to cook.
– Do not use salt in water as it will cause the eggs to separate.
– Once water comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer. If water is too hot or too cold the eggs will separate.
– Crack egg into a small ramekin or dish (do not crack directly into water) as pictured above and pour quickly into water, ensuring ramekin is as close to the water as possible. The idea is to keep the egg tightly clustered. Add each egg individually to the water as described above.
– Lightly pull each egg together in water with a spoon if needed and ensure they aren’t sticking, but disturb eggs as little as possible. Let cook for 2-5 minutes for desired yolk consistency. Less time for a soft yolk.
– Remove egg from the water with a slatted spoon and drain off excess water.
– Season with Sea Salt and Pepper as desired.

FOR LEFTOVER CHEESE GRITS: Spoon remaining grits into a small, square baking dish. Smooth with a spoon and ensure grits are firmly packed in the dish (Ideally around 2 inches thick). Cover and refrigerate. After grits are thoroughly cooled and solidified you can cut into triangles for frying – this is essentially an Italian style for grits known as fried polenta. Use within 2 days or freeze triangles. To fry polenta triangles:
1. In a small bowl mix 1 Cup Flour with salt and pepper to taste.
2. In a skillet over medium heat bring 3 Tbsp butter and 3 Tbsp Olive Oil to a bubble.
3. Press triangles into a light coating of flour on all sides.
4. Lay in pan to fry. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
5. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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