Grits and green chile is the ultimate fusion of southern and New Mexico cuisine. It’s creamy, spicy, and cheesy, and definite comfort food. It takes about 15 minutes to make and has only 5 ingredients, two of which are water and salt. You can’t make an easier or more comforting breakfast, lunch or dinner. With this dish, I have turned many people who disliked grits into grits lovers!
Ever since I discovered green chile back in the 70’s, this has been our favorite cool/cold weather breakfast. Bobby wasn’t that big on grits, but once he tried them with green chile, he became hooked and this is now one of his most requested breakfasts (right alongside Huevos Rancheros). I make grits and green chile at least once a week from fall to spring. It was a standard breakfast on camping and backpacking trips, and is a regular request from our houseguests. And, like my Mushroom Garlic Soup, it’s a great dish to ease the common cold.
Even if you think you don’t like grits, please give this dish a try. You will be converted – I guarantee it! And for those of you who don’t know what grits are, fear not – check out the Kitchen Notes.
Grits and Green Chile Recipe
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ’s Kitchen
Serves 4 (In truth, Bobby and I can finish this off in one sitting)
Prep and cook time: 15 minutes (assuming you already have roasted and chopped green chile)
3 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup quick-cooking grits (not instant!)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped green chile (the amount depends on the heat of the chile and how much heat you want)
1 overeasy or sunnyside up egg per person (optional)
- Bring the water with salt to a boil.
- SLOWLY whisk in the grits. Reduce heat to low and cover. Whisk every 1 minute for 5 minutes.
- Once the grits have thickened, stir in the cheese and chile. Cook for another 1 minute, stirring.
- Remove from heat and pour into bowls and enjoy!
- If desired, top your bowl of grits with a fried egg.
What are grits? Grits can be a couple of things. First of all, grits can be a Girl Raised In The South (like me), or they can be coarsely ground corn. There are white grits and yellow grits. White grits (the ones I prefer for this dish), are ground from hominy which is an alkali-treated corn. Yellow grits are ground from yellow corn. Coarsely ground yellow corn is also used for polenta.
Instant grits vs. quick cooking grits vs. slow-cooking grits – Remember the movie My Cousin Vinny? There is a classic line from that movie that says “No self-respecting southerner uses instant grits.” Well, I don’t use “instant” grits, but I do use Quaker “Quick” grits which cook in 5 minutes. I don’t feel at all guilty about it because my mother, who has lived in Louisiana all of her life, used quick grits. And if they were good enough for her, they are good enough for me. Mama could get a large bowl of grits on the table within 15 minutes. Sitting on the top of that bowl of grits was a melting slab of butter. YUM!!!!
The chile – You know what I’m going to say don’t you? The best chile for this dish is New Mexico roasted, peeled, and chopped green chile. A lot of you know it as Hatch chile or Anaheim chile. However, you can also use roasted and chopped poblano, and if you don’t like spicy, roasted sweet bell peppers work great. If you have chipotle you can make my Chipotle Grits with Feta and if you have some roasted red chile, then you could always make this Roasted Red Chile and Grits.
The cheese – One of the best cheeses to use is a mild cheddar cheese, but any mild semi-soft cheese works. If I don’t have cheddar, I just use what I have in the fridge. One day the only cheese I had was feta so I used it. It was delicious – different in flavor, but a creamier outcome. We loved it! You could also leave the cheese out altogether. In addition to just omitting the cheese, you could replace it with 1 tablespoon butter or butter substitute (if there is such a thing ).
An egg on top – Bobby loves a fried egg on top. Me…not so much, which is surprising since I do love fried eggs on pasta and enchiladas. But for some reason, I prefer my grits without an egg.
Increasing the recipe – As with polenta, if you want to increase the recipe just work with a ratio of 1/4 cup uncooked grits to 1 cup water.
This Grits and Green Chile post has been shared with Thursday Treasures, Gluten-free Fridays, Weekend Potluck, Hearth and Soul, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Wonderful Food Wednesday, Made From Scratch Monday, Creative Thursday, My Meatless Monday