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How to Make Grits From Fresh Hominy

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Illustration for article titled How to Make Grits From Fresh Hominy

Photo: Claire Lower

True grits are usually made with dried, ground hominy—corn that has been soaked in an alkaline solution to render it more nutritious and delicious. This is harder to find in the Pacific Northwest than one might think. Even though Portland practically has a fetish for southern food, most of the “grits” you find in area grocery stores are sold as “grits aka polenta,” which is not what I’m looking for. Not at all.

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That extra soaking step is what makes grits taste like grits. Without calcium hydroxide (or some similar caustic substance), your ground corn porridge is bland and blah. Nixtamalization—which you can learn all about here—is the key to giving it the toasty, sweet, aromatic notes that make this particular bowl of breakfast mush better than the others.

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There aren’t however, many recipes for turning freshly nixtamlized corn into grits. There are a few that show you how to dry and grind your corn and then turn that into grits, but I simply don’t want to do all of that. Luckily, if you can make risotto (and have a food processor) you can make grits from fresh hominy. I was only able to find one recipe for doing so (on the Anson Mill’s site), so I used that as a template and—because I cannot help myself—made a few adjustments.

But, before we get to that, you should familiarize yourself with the process of transforming corn into hominy, so go do that if you haven’t already. Once you’ve made at least a cup of the stuff, all you’ll need is water, salt, and a little butter for flavor. You will not need cream or milk. The creaminess in grits comes from their own, naturally occurring starch, not dairy, so please save the milk for your cereal and the cream for your coffee.

Grits made with freshly nixtamlized corn are—depending on how finely you break them down—a little more toothsome than the kind you buy pre-ground. They retain some of the hominy’s chewy texture, which I enjoy, but the more finely you prepare them with the food processor, the closer to “regular” grits they will be.

Those larger bits will come out chewy, so pulse a little past this point.

Those larger bits will come out chewy, so pulse a little past this point.
Photo: Claire Lower

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Once you’ve pulsed your hominy into something that looks like grits, it’s almost exactly like cooking risotto, the only difference being that you do not toast them in fat before you add liquid, as doing so will coat the little corn bits and prevent them from absorbing water. Toast them in a dry pan until they are hot and fragrant and start to stick to the end of a wooden spoon, then gradually add salted water, stirring with each addition, until they soften and swell and release their starch. Then—and only then—should you add butter to taste.

Fresh Hominy Grits

Ingredients:

  • At least 1 cup of freshly prepared hominy (not dried or canned)
  • At least 2 cups of water per cup of hominy
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter per cup of hominy, divided

Add the hominy to your food processor and pulse until it is broken down into fine, grit-sized pieces. The smaller your bits, the quicker the grits will cook, and the creamier they will be (though those little toothsome bits can be fun). Add the grits to a dry stainless steel pot, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until they are hot and fragrant and steaming. While the grits are heating, lightly salt the water and bring to a boil in a separate sauce pan (or kettle).

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Once the grits are hot and starting to stick to the end of your wooden spoon, start adding water, about 1/3 cup at a time, stirring with each addition until it is absorbed. The grits will be quite tight and firm looking at first; just keep adding water and stirring until they soften and swell. Eventually, they will loosen up and release their starch, which is what will make them creamy.

Taste as you go. It’s possible your grits will look the part before they are cooked enough, so keep cooking until they are soft on your teeth, adding more water as needed to keep them from dying out. Once they look and taste right, add one tablespoon of butter (per cup of hominy you started with), stir, taste, and adjust with more butter or salt if needed. Serve with hot sauce, cheese, shrimp, and/or more butter.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

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You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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