Monday, September 17, 2007

Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Grits

Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Grits
Originally uploaded by weezienyc.

I had the pleasure of serving dinner for some of my favorite people on Saturday night. My friend, Dennis, has a fantastic apartment and a table that seats 12, which gave me a chance to host my first sit down dinner party since I moved to NYC. Here's what was on the menu:

- Mushroom Shallot Phyllo Baskets (I had no idea how hard it is to work with phyllo)
- Cannolinni and Fennel Salad
- Portabella Mushrooms with Roasted Vegetables
- Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Grits
- Double Chocolate Mint Cookies with Bailey's Ice Cream

As usual, the dessert was my favorite part of the meal, with the grits coming in at a very close second. The dish, originally from the Charleston Grille, is extremely easy to make and a treat for both sweet and savory palettes.

I'd made this recipe before, but made some changes for Saturday's meal that truly turned it from a tasty side item to a hearty main course. Here's the newly revised recipe:

Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Grits
Serves 12

6 cups veggie broth
6 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup quick-cooking hominy grits
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup diced drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 13 1/2 x 8 1/2 3 2-inch glass baking dish. Bring broth, butter, salt, and garlic to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits and return mixture to boil, whisking occasionally.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until grits are thick and almost all broth is absorbed, whisking frequently, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup cream and simmer 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Whisk in remaining cream and simmer until very thick, stirring often, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in tomatoes and 1 cup goat cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining goat cheese over top and bake until cheese softens, about 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

American Roadhouse Breakfast

American Roadhouse Breakfast
Originally uploaded by weezienyc.

When I lived in Atlanta I ate here almost every weekend. However, I never ordered their grits because by the time we woke up, got dressed, walked up to the Roadhouse, and waited in the long line of folks ahead of us, I was usually ready for lunch.

When I was down in Atlanta for a visit in June, I ate there for breakfast and, of course, I ordered the grits. I am not even exaggerating when I say that the jalapeno cheese grits were the best I've ever tried (which is saying a lot since I have my own recipe).

While I was there, I talked to the manager about grits, my project, and using their recipe in my book. He was interested in my concept and said to loop back around with him when I was ready to write the restaurant portion of the book. He also told me about a great spot in NYC with fantastic grits called Sarge's. It's about 5 blocks from my house, so I'll have to check it out and let you know. And hopefully you'll be able to get your hands on the American Roadhouse Jalapeno Cheese Grits recipe when my book comes out.

Since that won't be until at least fall of 2008, I'll post my own recipe for you to try!

Jalapeno Cheese Grits

2 cups water
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup butter
1 cup quick cooking grits
8 ounces Velvetta cheese, cubed (gotta love it)
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 (10 - ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, bring the water, milk, and two tablespoons of butter to a boil. Add the salt and garlic. Slowly whisk grits into the pan and return to a boil, whisking constantly.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add remaining butter and stir until completely absorbed. Add Velvetta and Cheddar cheese to grits, stirring until melted.

Remove from heat. Add tomatoes and jalapenos to grits and mix well. Pour grits into a greased casserole dish and bake for 40 minutes.

Serve immediately.


American Roadhouse on Socialight!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

HELP! Recipe Testers Needed

I tried to make this recipe last week, but wasn't sure whether it needed something added to it or not. It may just be a personal issue as I'm not a fan of Gorgonzola and think this fact tainted my experience. So give it a try and let me know what you think.

Grits with Bacon and Gorgonzola
Serves: 4

3 cups chicken broth
1 cup quick-cooking grits
4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Black pepper, freshly ground
6 slices of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually add grits, stirring constantly. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until thick (for about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat; stir in the cheese, sour cream, and nutmeg. Divide grits into four servings on plates. Sprinkle with pepper and bacon.