Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Treebeards' Garlic Cheese Grits

I always have to explain grits, as most everyone I know here has never had them. They're like polenta. In fact, this recipe is a lot more so than the ones I fell in love with that my mom used to make. The egg in the recipe firms it up a lot more like the Italian version and the cayenne gives it a great kick. This is one of the recipes that is included in the Treebeards' cookbook that isn't actually on the menu, but in keeping with the palate and feel of the restaurant. That's a shame, because I would have ordered them all the time.

Something about that grits = polenta thing: A woman in my office, Teresa, is Chicago born and bred, though it seems she got a solid upbringing with Southern food here. She went down to Mississippi with a friend whose father (or some male relative) who is a fantastic cook, based on what Teresa was describing. He served soft polenta with an Italian meal he put together and Teresa had no idea what it was. His response? "They're like grits." So the analogy works both ways.

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