Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cheese Grits with Asparagus and Spring Onions

I have been thinking about Texas a lot lately. Father's Day is closing in on the horizon and I would love to spend it deep in the heart of Texas with the world's greatest father in law.

I want to go see family, eat fried okra, go fishing, explore Austin again, devour tomatoes, pretend that I will meet Guy Clark at the local bar.

Totally normal things for a girl to be dreaming about.

I want to drink a cold Shiner Bock while sitting on a porch swing with scruffy country dogs curled up at my feet panting, exhausted from the heat.

People wave to each other on dusty country roads in the south. They really do wave while driving. It is like a breath of fresh air. Friendly strangers, God bless them.

There are cowboy hats, bouffants, fire flies and big open skies that I can't find in Washington.

I want to eat Tex Mex until my eyes go crossed.

I want J to wake me up in the late hours of the night to watch a lightening storm from the bedroom window.

Until our lives settle down a bit we have to make our own Texas here in Washington. Cheesy grits will have to hold me over until we can take our time visiting the south.

I can eat my weight in cheesy grits, I know I will be just fine when the buttery fried egg hits the mound of grits. Comfort food. John Prine and Guy Clark are always on the play list, a bit of Texas to hold me over.

Cheese Grits with Asparagus and Spring Onions
serves four, or 3 servings for me and 1 for J.

4 cups water
1 cup stone ground grits (also known as polenta)
salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 pound asparagus spears, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
Fresh juice from 1 lemon

Optional (not really):

4 fried eggs
Slices of tomato
Butter four bowls and set aside.

Bring water to a boil.  Add grits to the boiling water while whisking to prevent clumps.  Add a bit of salt and pepper.  Lower heat, bring to simmer and cover until water is absorbed.  Follow the directions on your box of grits or polenta.  Cooking times vary.  Once thick, remove from heat and stir in butter and shredded cheese. Divide the grits among four buttered bowls and set aside.
In a (cast iron) skillet over medium heat brown onions and garlic with a pat of butter.  Add the chopped asparagus and another pat of butter to the onions and cook until the asparagus turns a bright green, this should take only a few minutes and the asparagus should still have a crunch. Remove the pan from the heat.

The grits in the bowls should now be set, turn each bowl so the grits slide onto a plate, creating a "dome of grits". Top each serving of grits with a pile of asparagus and onions. Squeeze a lemon over top of each one.

Fry a couple eggs if you desire and place a fried egg on top. Enjoy a few slices tomato tucked between bites. 
Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! the land is so green there, absolutely beautiful!