This is a plate of creamy Anson Mills grits with Smith’s Farmstead cheddar, Simmons Farm spinach and Hopkins Farm asparagus sauteed with olive oil and shallot, topped with a sunny-side up Zephyr Farm egg – the combination of a cooked bean or grain plus veggies and egg has become my favorite formula for a quick meal, any time of day.
This post was going to be all about my love affair with Anson Mills grits, and how excited I was to finally get my hands on some and cook them at home, but then a little something weird and wonderful happened.
See, I wanted to approximate the creamy texture of the grits I get at places like iCi and egg, so I decided cooking my grits in plain water just wouldn’t do. I got out a heavy bottomed pot and put in a little over 2 cups of Evans Creamery milk, a healthy dollop of their butter, and a cup of good old Brooklyn tap water. I covered the pot and turned the burner to medium heat, then turned my attention to prepping the rest of our meal.
I turned back to my pot after a few minutes and gave it a stir to incorporate the melted butter, and it looked a little strange. For some reason that I still can’t quite figure out, the milk had separated into curds and whey, and when I stirred it the curds stretched and came together to form a mozzarella-like ball. I was curious so I pulled it out of the pot with a slotted spoon and tasted it. To my surprise and delight, it was good, very fresh and milky. I set it in a little ramekin to cool, and later wrapped the ball tightly in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge while I finished making dinner.
I went ahead and cooked the grits in the remaining liquid in the pot, and they turned out beautifully. I stirred in a little grated cheese (Mecox Bay Sigit and Evans Chenango Jack) at the end and spooned them into bowls, topping them with some of the pork shoulder Mike made earlier in the week, which I shredded and reheated in some of its braising liquid along with a splash each of rye whiskey and sherry vinegar.
This was a good, hearty meal on a cold night and a great use of leftover pork, but I have to say the highlight of the night for me wasn’t a successful first go at making cheesy grits at home – it was the accidental cheese.