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Categories: Best recipes, Sides, Vegetarian

Grits with leek and shiitakes

Grits with leek and shiitakes
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Six years ago this spring I ordered a fish for its side dish in a restaurant in Charleston, S.C., and I have not been the same since. What was described simply as "creamy grits" on the menu was beyond a ... Read more

Total time: About 1 1/2 hours | Serves 6 to 8
Note: Cooking time varies depending on the type of grits used.
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 cup coarse grits
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 leek, white part only, washed well and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound shiitakes, stemmed, wiped clean and diced small
  • 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
  • Tabasco to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Step 1In a heavy saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a rolling boil with 1 teaspoon salt. Add the grits and stir until smooth. Lower the heat to simmer and cook, stirring often, until the grits are tender and cooked through (1 to 1 1/2 hours for Anson Mills grits). Add more water if the mixture gets too thick and dry.

Step 2While the grits cook, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and leeks and sprinkle with about one-fourth teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the remaining butter and the shiitakes and continue cooking and stirring for 10 minutes. Stir in the tamari or soy sauce and the Tabasco.

Step 3When the grits are cooked, add the leek mixture and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve.

Each of 8 servings:
171 calories; 3 grams protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 9 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 23 mg. cholesterol; 80 mg. sodium.
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