We’ve lived in Tennessee for just over four years now, and it’s about time we start earning our Southern credentials. Think of it like the boy scouts for grown ups, but instead of badges for fire starting and knot tying, we’ve got biscuit making and chicken frying. And without a doubt, the foundation of any solid Southern cook is most definitely a big ol’ bowl of grits.
At the rate I’m going I’ll have my grits badge in no time.
Granted, I may not have started with the most traditional recipe for grits. Goat cheese isn’t exactly a native Southern staple (blasphemy! it should be!), but that didn’t make me enjoy this any less. You know me, you could stir a spoonful of goat cheese into just about anything and I’d eagerly dig in.
I do think the tomatoes could be roasted with a bit more loving care rather than blasted with the broiler; something more akin to the sugar-roasted tomatoes in this recipe. The lower temperature brings out all the juicy sweetness without turning the skins into leather. And the touch of brown sugar would be a perfect play on the tart goat cheese and rich, creamy grits. And seeing as I definitively just gave myself a serious late-night craving for cheesy grits, and we happen to be headed to the grocery first thing tomorrow morning, this dish may very well find itself on our meal plan again this week.
Roasted Tomato Grits with Corn and Goat Cheese
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup stone-ground grits
2 cups whole milk
1 cup water
1 cup fresh corn kernels, blanched briefly in boiling water
1/4 cup goat cheese, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Toss tomatoes with olive oil and kosher salt and arrange on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet cut side up. Cook for approximately 45-55 minutes or until they are soft and shriveled, and the bottoms are beginning to brown.
Meanwhile, for the grits, bring milk and water to a gentle boil in a heavy sauce pan. Slowly whisk in grits. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, whisking often, until grits begin to thicken. Add more water if necessary to acheive desired consistency. Cook until the grits are tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Stir in butter, corn, and goat cheese. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Top with roasted tomatoes and additional goat cheese crumbles.