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.

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