meatless monday: inspired by austin

retro signage on south congress st.

I just got back from a few days in Austin, where in addition to a vintage scavenger hunt and two-stepping with real cowboys at a honky tonk bar, I got to tick #7 off of my list AND rediscover my love for a true Southern delicacy: grits. (I swear, this was a work trip). Grits are savory, creamy, and totally, undeniably comforting. This recipe from the NYT’s Temporary Vegetarian blog combines the rustic qualities of a Southern dish with Italian sophistication, thanks to the mushrooms and goat cheese.

Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga. Done and done, thanks to my enthusiastic coworkers.

Roasted Mushroom and Goat Cheese Grits
from the New York Times
serves 6

For the mushrooms:
1 c. shiitakes, cleaned & hard stems discarded
1 c. oyster mushrooms, cleaned & hard stems discarded
1 c. cremini mushrooms, cleaned & hard stems discarded
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig thyme
4 cloves garlic
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the grits:
2 c. milk
1 jalapeño, split & seeded
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. organic grits
2 tbsp. butter
2 oz. fresh goat cheese

For the mushrooms: preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine shiitakes, oyster mushrooms, creminis, olive oil, thyme and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a sheet pan, and roast for 15 min. Remove from heat, discard thyme and garlic, and cover to keep warm. While the mushrooms are roasting, prepare the grits: in a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, 2 c. water, jalapeño, garlic, bay leaf, rosemary and salt. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat. Pour through a fine-meshed strainer into a heatproof bowl, and discard the solids.

Return the liquid to the saucepan, and place over high heat to bring to a boil. Add the grits, lower the heat to medium, and stir constantly until fully cooked and smooth, about 15 – 20 min. Add butter and mix well.

Add the goat cheese immediately before serving and mix well. Divide the grits among six plates, and spoon the roasted mushrooms over the grits.

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