Springtime Comfort Food: Grits & Asparagus

by Heather on April 19, 2012

You know those days when you just need crave stomp your feet for want some good, honest comfort food?

You know the days I’m talking about.

The days when you’re running a few minutes late for work and get stuck behind a dump truck moving at precisely the speed of molasses.

The days when you are completely blind to the coffee table that grew bitter over the crumbs you left on its surface and so strategically placed itself directly in your path. Table:1, Shin: 0

The days when you forget to put the trash up, and the dogs punish you mercilessly for it … Sawyer, you know what you did.

The days when curling up on the couch with a pile of dogs and watching old British comedies far outweighs laundry/dishes/emails/blogs/moving.

On those days, comfort food reigns supreme. Lucky for you, I have a lick-your-bowl-clean recipe to share with you.

Prepare yourselves. This is not vegan. It has cheese.

Smoked cheese to be exact.

It is rich and melty and the perfect complement to a cozy little dinner (or lunch).

So, slip into those yoga pants you never actually do yoga in, make this and then savor each comforting little bite.

Oh, and you might as well not hold a grudge with the coffee table…best not to anger those sharp corners.

Serves 4

Materials

Grits

  • 1 cup of grits*
  • 4 cups water
  • 2.5 -3 ounces of smoked cheese*
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
Asparagus
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

*I used Bob’s Red Mill brand but any quick grits will work

**If you are lucky enough to find smoked jack…go for it.  Smoked cheddar will work brilliantly as well

Methods

1. Prep asparagus. The method I use is to simply bend each stalk until it snaps…

then with the bottom piece, cut off the very end and trim off the tough exterior.

Proceed to slice asparagus into ~1.5 inch pieces.

2. Add olive oil to skillet, heat to medium and toss in asparagus. Cook for a minute or two, then add in water and balsamic.

Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring around every so often and adding water if needed to prevent the asparagus from sticking and burning.

4. While the asparagus is cooking, get those grits started. Bring water to a boil and stir in grits and garlic powder.

Lower heat to slightly lower than medium heat. Cook for ~ 3-5 minutes or until grits transform from little particles in water to a magical, creamy substance.

5. Shred or finely chop cheese….

and add to grits, stirring continuously until the cheese has melted. Add salt & pepper to taste.

*If grits start to look thick, stir in water a little bit at a time until creamy.

6. Add cooked asparagus to grits in whatever way your heart desires. As a special touch I like to layer them into ramekins, sprinkle with some paprika and a final round of cheese and stick them under the broiler for a few minutes to get a tasty golden layer on top (but you totally don’t have to do that :) )

Results & Conclusions

Mmm mmm good.

This stuff is good for the soul.

The strong flavor of balsamic meets up with the strong flavor of smoke cheese, and they fill your heart with gladness…take away all your sadness…ease your troubles…that’s what they do.

Too much? Yeah, you’re right.

But this is good enough to make you forgive the dogs for their trash transgressions, and that makes it a winner in my book.

 

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

tslmom April 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

Sounds yummy!

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