Posts Tagged ‘southern’

What is a grit? A question I get when asking someone, typically not from the south, if they like grits. First off, it’s never just grit, it’s GRITS. And grits are ground corn. The grinding process is also where corn meal comes from as we’ll. Grits are a glorious food which are divine when cooked to perfection by a grits lover, or old country women or your grandpa. Cause some of those old school country grandpas can’t even turn a stove on, but they know how to cook grits. It’s amazingly scary.
Grits have magical powers, the powers to be mixed with anything and cooked in numerous ways. Most sutherners relish in the opportunity to consume this magical food. Those who don’t, will and do, get questioned on their actual southerness.
Grits can be eaten alone, with a little butter. That’s the simple, yet delicious way. Here is where grits get to showcase those magical powers with vengeance. Adding all sorts of other deliciousness. All these ingredients can be added singularly or together. Bacon, sausage, eggs, fruit, veggies, shrimp, scallops, steak, BBQ, chicken, souse meat (look it up), liver pudding, liver mush and cheese.

You say you still don’t like grits? Well let’s show you something that might change your mind. It fried grits. SHO nuff, fried like a glorious piece of shrimp, chicken, or maters. Except its GRITS! A golden, crunchy spicey, patti of fried grits. And ya know what, you add any of the ingredients listed above, and then frye. Make ya wanna shotgun a Busch so delish.

Here is how I cook my grits. Only use stone ground grits, none of that instant grits shit, this ain’t no damn cream of wheat crap. 4 cups of water per one cup of grits, is the standard recipe. I add 3 cups of water and 1 cup of Milk or cream to one cup of grits. Mix all the ingredients, add salt and pepper to taste, one cube beef bouillon, and 1/8 or so stick of butter. Bring to a boil, slowly. Be mindful of the milk boiling, it will boil over quickly. How long you let it cook depends on the consistency you want. The longer they cook the thicker they get, the shorter cook the more liquid. If you mess up and cook too long, thin up the grits by adding a little water and stirring to get desired consistency. I recommend no less than 45, though. If you cook the grits at a lower temp, you don’t have to worry about sticking and clumping.

You can also cook grits in a crockpot, twice the water per cup of grits, on low. Usually cooks over night.

This is basic grits cooking. Once cooked, slop on a plate and add whatever you want.

Now fried grits! Umm mmm good. Cook grits as stated above. Pour into pan 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick. Let cool until it solidifies. I put mine in the fridge. Before you pour into pan, you can add any ingredients, mix, then pour. Beat and egg, get some flour, cut grits into squares about the size of a pancake spatula. Dip in egg, roll in flour, frye at temp of 375-400 until golden brown. It does not take long, just golden up the flour, since the grits are already cooked.

20121113-132733.jpg
Beautiful pot f yellow stone ground grits

href=”http://thebearditspeaks.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/20121113-193225.jpg”>20121113-193225.jpg
Going into the fridge before gettin fried tomorrow. Left is a ground deer and beef cooked in BBQ sauce, right is cheese.

Awesome is bearded

In case yall did not know.  This is peanut season.  Well, it is a little late, but still close enough.  In the spirit of the season, I will chronicle my most recent peanut boil.  If you already know how to do this, then good.  For those of you not so inclined to know what a boiled peanut is, please read carefully. This is an education you are in great need of.

Most of you have had roasted peanuts before.  They are delicious.  Down here, in the South, we do something called boiling.  Let’s get the pronunciation correct before we move on.  Boiling: bul-ing.  The O carries the sound of a U, as in the word BUT.  Pronounce out-loud three times and continue reading.

Let’s get a misnomer about boiled peanuts out the way.  They are not slimy.  I repeat, its not a damn chit’lin or boiled okra, no slime.

We will start the process, with the hope that your nuts have already been plucked from the ground.  Next in-lesson lesson; peanuts are not actually nuts, they are legumes.  Nuts grow above ground, legumes grow under ground.

First thing ya gotta do with your nuts is pick out the bad ones and the stems.  Bad nuts are soft, rotten, or have dark spots.  Good nuts are firm, evenly colored and uniform in size.  Next, wash your nuts.  Cause no body likes dirty nuts.  Dirty nuts give your boil water a bad color and gritty taste.  Washing, now that is where the work comes in.  Put the nuts in enough water that they float.  Take your right hand and begin stirring the nuts, use your left hand to drink Busch, whiskey or Pepsi Cola.  I usually stir for about two Busches.  Dump the nuts and rinse well.

Next the nuts go in to the boil pot.  Pour enough water in the pot, so that the peanuts float, I dont know how much water exactly, I put enough water so the nuts float to the top third of the boil pot.   Add salt, again, not sure how much, I typically put one and a half round cans in, it works out well.  You do not want to salt your nuts too heavily or you will dehydrate too fast and can not drink the appropriate amount of Busch.  There are all kinds of flavors you can add it also.  I suggest you get boiling the regular nuts down pat before experimenting more.

Next step.  Boil your nuts.  This could take anywhere from 1 hour to 3.  This depends on the size of your nuts and if they are green or dried.  Now, important here.  This is where you might switch from Busch to whiskey, but only one whiskey drink.  Then back to Busch.  Boil the nuts until they are firm but not crunchy.  This ain’t no damn science lesson, so you gonna have to trust your judgement on doneness.  Not all the nuts will cook the same, so, the majority need to be firm, not crunchy.  Once you think your nuts are ready for consumption, let them sit in the water for a while, hour or so.  Then dump your nuts onto a table or somewhere they can cool a little more and dry a bit.

Next, you should bag your nuts.  Be very gentle during this stage of processing. Your nuts should be gently handled while being bagged.  Once bagged, extract as much air from the bag as possible.  A straw in the corner of the bag works very well.  You should bag your nuts in sacks appropriate to your level of consumption of said nuts.  No one likes large nut sacks, that go bad before you finish them off.  Quart bags typically work best.  At this point, you can refrigerate your nuts.  If you have too many nuts to eat within a few days, freeeze them.  To unfreeze your nuts, use hot waters and submerge the bag until they are thawed.  And for you country folk, it is not “de-thawed”, that would be freezing them.

See how easy it is to boil peanuts!  You can find peanuts at the farmers market, and grocery store.  Green nuts are usually better.  Dried nuts should be soaked over nite in the water and salt brine, and they take longer to cook.

Now, if you do not like boiled peanuts, you suck.  Atleast do it for your friends who are real human beings.  Here is a recent picture of my nuts.

boiling peanuts

So go out and boil you some delicious southern goodness.  Send me some pictures of your nuts, we can share pictures of all our nuts.

Stay bearded my friends.