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.
Roasted Mushroom and Goat Cheese Grits
from the New York Times
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.