Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Grizzley Peak Grits

Writing about making the squash blossoms on my last trip to California reminded me that I'd forgotten to post a recipe I concocted when I was out visiting my business partner in May. He lives in Berkeley up the hill on Grizzley Peak Dr - hence the name. In order to quickly whip up something to serve along side flank steak tacos for an impromptu Cinco de Mayo dinner, I raided his fridge for whatever I could find that could work. And here is the result:

Grizzley Peak Grits
Serves 4

2 cups water
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
1 cup white stone-ground grits
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
6 ounces Manchego Cheese

Bring water, milk, 3 tablespoons butter, and salt to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually stir in grits and bring to boil. Add remaining butter and jalapeno peppers. Reduce heat to low and simmer grits for 30-45 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cheese and continue to simmer until cheese has melted and grits are smooth. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

Pattypan Squash Blossoms
Originally uploaded by weezienyc.

I love summer. And one of the best things about summer is the fresh vegetables the season offers. Squash is my favorite and over the past few years I've found myself counting the days until Pattypan squash blossoms find their way in season. They are more firm and a little less sweet than yellow squash and are often served stuffed.

While I was in California a few weeks ago, I stumbled across the Berkeley Bowl, a local grocery store that puts Whole Foods and Trader Joe's to shame. The "Bowl" (as it is known to the locals) had the most amazing produce section I've ever seen. I discovered vegetables I'd of which I'd never even heard. But none of them mattered when I spotted the squash section. I found the largest squash blossoms I've ever seen - leaving plenty of room for stuffing with grits.

Since I was traveling and not staying in my own kitchen, I ended up making up this recipe on the fly based on what I knew I'd purchased earlier. And this is the result:

Pattypam Squash stuffed with Southwestern Grits
6-8 Pattypan squash
2 cups water
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup yellow stone-ground grits
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salsa
1 3/4 cups Pepper Jack cheese, shredded and divided

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Slice tops of squash, setting them aside. Place squash in boiling water for 10 -12 minutes until outer shell is tender. Remove from water and cool.

Bring water, 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons butter, and salt to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits and return mixture to boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer until grits are thick and all liquid is absorbed, whisking occasionally, about 20 minutes. Whisk in remaining cup of milk and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk in sour cream and simmer until very thick, stirring often, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in 1 ½ cup cheese and salsa. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Hollow out cooled squash. Fill to top with grits mixture and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place in a large casserole dish and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Serve immediately.