Let me preface this by saying that I am not originally from the South. I'm from the Northeast and I am a BIG texture person. That is, if it doesn't "Feel good" in my mouth, I'm not going to Put it in my mouth! I don't slimy substances, gritty substances, or overly dry, etc. I just don't deal well with it, but I am the kind of person that feels like you should always try something at least twice, even if you hated it the first time. I've tried grits a number of times, and quite frankly, they always felt "Gritty"- which I guess is about right, considering the name.
Boy was I Wrong! Grits, when cooked properly are not gritty or crunchy at all, but smooth, creamy and complete Lump Free- and Oh My, are they ever GOOD!
Like any decent recipe, there is a technique for getting them that way.. as I learned from my neighbor, Miss Deb (who, by the way, IS a True Southern Lady!).
1 c. Quick Cooking Grits (the 5-minute kind)
4 c. water (plus 1/4 c. later on)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 c. cooked diced hot sausage (or mild)
1 can Rotel-Style diced tomatoes (that is tomatoes that are mixed with green chili peppers)
4 oz of cheese (shredded cheddar or velveeta)
Put 4 cups of water and the salt in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring it to just under a boil. Now, when I say just under, you want little bubbles to be forming in the very bottom of the pan and along the sides, but I caution you, do NOT let it come to a boil BEFORE you add the grits- or they WILL be lumpy.
See- this is what it looks like just before you dump in your grits:
NOW Dump in your grits and stir. Put a cover on it, let it come to a light boil, reduce the heat to med-low and stir every 2-3 minutes. Cook for 10 minutes this way, sprinkle with the black pepper, if it's boiling to rapidly, reduce the heat a little bit.
Cook for another 10 minutes Be sure that you are stirring every 2 minutes or so. Remove the cover and add the undrained Rotel-style diced tomatoes, and cheese, stirring well. Put the cover back on and simmer 4-5 minutes over low heat. Again, stirring every 2 minutes. Grits stick easily if they aren't attended to.
Add up to 1/4 cup of water if you like it a little more runny and a little less thick. We like them to be creamy but easier to eat in a cup or bowl than on a plate, if that makes sense to you.
Just prior to serving sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the top and serve!
Do NOT Omit the salt from the water- grits will not "absorb" salt once they're added to the water so you could potentially add 3 Tablespoons at the end and not accomplish the same flavor as you would if you added it to the water FIRST.