Grits, fried green tomatoes and bacon were the first combination that came to mind when I started work on this installment of our Cook The Book project.
We are covering cereals from Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book. There are six of us participating in the project: Rachel of Ode to Goodness, Sammy of Rêve du Jour, Emily of The Bon Appetit Diaries, Aimee of Homemade Trade and Claudie of The Bohemian Kitchen.
I've never made either of these dishes before. Both turned out to be very easy and very satisfying. I was surprised at how much I loved the grits. They are a cross between traditional polenta and a warm grain cereal, like cream of rice or farina. Those were two of my favorite warm cereals growing up, so it makes perfect sense that the grits made me so happy. It's such a filling dish that I think I can get six to eight servings out of each batch.
The recipe said you could serve the grits as a sweet dish with milk and sugar. Savory breakfast is more my taste, so I tried the grits two ways: one just with butter and one with black truffle oil and bacon.
The black truffle oil was my favorite, but way too rich to eat very much of it. The fried green tomatoes were nice and crispy, as an alternate cornmeal texture against the smooth silkiness of the grits. I have plans to make a ton of this, and will likely experiment with some other combinations.
adapted from Marion Cunningham's The Breakfast Book, copyright 1987, Alfred A Knopf
- 2 cups water
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup grits (I used Bob's Red Mill Organic Corn Grits Polenta)
- 1 tablespoon butter OR
- 1/2 tablespoon black truffle oil
- Bring the water to a boil and add salt. slowly stir in the grits, and stir for a few seconds more.
- Turn the heat to medium-low (closer to low than medium on my stove) and cover the pan.
- Cook, stirring once or twice for five minutes (I left it for up to 10 minutes).
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter or the black truffle oil.
- Serve hot.
Fried Green Tomatoes
- 4 small hard green tomatoes cut into slices
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (you may want to add more at the end depending on taste)
- 1 to 2 eggs, whisked until yolks are incorporated with the whites, in a shallow dish
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup cornmeal, on a small plate
- Tobasco or Chalula sauce for serving.
- Heat a skillet over high heat.
- Place the tomato slices in the egg wash, turning to coat them completely.
- Transfer the egg-coated tomato slices to the cornmeal and coat them completely in corn meal.
- Add the olive oil to the hot pan, swirling it around to cover the entire surface of the pan.
- Place the tomato slices in the hot oil and cook for four minutes, or until the coating on that side has browned well.
- Turn the slices over and cook for an additional four minutes on the second side.
- Remove the slices to a paper towel lined plate, sprinkle with salt and serve.