Anytime I see something in a recipe that I’ve never made before – a method of cooking, an unusual ingredient or even an exotic spice — I’m invigorated by the challenge. Awestruck like a child in a candy store, I can’t wait to explore all that a new food has to offer. But first, I try to find a friend who isn’t a newbie and let them lead the way. This time, it was grits! It’s hard to believe that despite having grown up in Maryland, which is somewhat Southern (and is next to Virginia, which is entirely Southern), before today. I had never had the pleasure of cooking that tasty bit of mush.
So the other day, Debbie and I set out to make Red Snapper on Sage, Corn and Cheddar Grits. Although she doesn’t profess to be a professional grit maker (or is it grits-maker?), she makes oatmeal on a regular basis and was confident we’d figure it out. As it turned out, the recipe, supplied by Angela McKeller, host of the “Kick Back and Kook” internet radio talk show, in conjunction with Liz Manthei of Peppercorns Catering, was a cinch to make! While Debbie minced the sage and garlic, I cooked and de-cobbed the corn while bringing the chicken stock and cream to a boil. In under ten minutes, we had created a creamily delicious pot of grits — with little crunchy bites of fresh corn. I could have made the grits by myself, but probably wouldn’t have tried it unless I had a friend to do it with me. Now, it will become part of my ever-growing repertoire.
Our kids’ reactions to our cooking sessions are a good measure of our success. This meal gets an A + from ourselves and our adventurous children. My toddler devoured several pieces of red snapper; my eldest son licked two plates of grits and snapper clean, and my daughter and Debbie’s son cautiously tried and enjoyed the grits! Not such a bad day if you ask me! I brought home a bonus portion for my husband, who finished it off in about three minutes flat and optimistically asked for more.
I am excited to have appeared as a guest on Angela McKeller’s internet radio show today. To listen to the show, visit: http://www.blubrry.com/player/?p=3405