PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOKING TIME: 30 minutes

MAKES 4 servings

Cheesy grits make an excellent savory breakfast. This recipe uses a sprinkle of real corn grits for flavor and texture, but the bulk of the dish is grated cauliflower. A warm bowl of these “grits” with sautéed mushrooms and a bit of crispy bacon is a winning weekend breakfast.

GRITS

½ stick (¼ cup/55 g) unsalted butter

¼ white onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon coarsely ground corn grits or polenta (not quick-cook)

Florets from ½ head cauliflower, riced (see here)

½ cup (120 ml) all-natural salted chicken stock

½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

Pinch of cayenne pepper

A few dashes of Tabasco sauce

½ cup (55 g) shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup (55 g) grated Parmesan cheese

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

MUSHROOMS

2 large portobello mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ stick (¼ cup/55 g) unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped, or ¼ heaping teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Fine sea salt

12 slices crispy cooked bacon, for serving (optional)

Fresh thyme (sprigs or leaves) or chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

  1. Prepare the “grits”: Place the butter, onion, and garlic in a large saucepan and sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened.
  2. Add the corn grits and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring well.
  3. Add the chicken stock and cream and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a steady simmer. Add the spices and hot sauce and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the liquid has reduced to a creamy sauce and the cauliflower and grits are tender.
  4. While the grits are cooking, prepare the mushrooms: Slice the portobellos into ½-inch (1.25-cm) strips, place in a large frying pan with the oil and butter, and fry over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and thyme and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes more, until the mushrooms are golden brown and caramelized. Season to taste with salt.
  5. When the grits are done, add the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and evenly distributed, stirring often. Season to taste with salt and pepper and immediately divide among four serving plates.
  6. Top the creamy grits with the mushrooms and add crispy bacon, if desired. Garnish with thyme or parsley and serve. Store any leftovers for up to 3 days in the refrigerator and reheat as desired.

CHEF’S TIP

image Store corn grits or polenta in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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