From our dude Nick Evans at Macheesmo comes Love Your Leftovers, an essential tome of what to do with the leftovers in your fridge. Brunch is a particularly useful meal when it comes to repurposing extra food, and these cheesy tomato grits are a great way to kick off your weekend. Make too much tomato sauce? Infuse cheesy grits for a flavor-packed brunch dish just begging for a poached egg.
If you’re in Florence, it’s called polenta. If you’re in Alabama, it’s called grits. In reality, they are basically the same thing — that is to say, ground-up corn that’s been slowly simmered. Corn and tomatoes pair well together, so simmering the grits in a diluted marinara sauce is a great way to give them some serious flavor. It’s hard for me to recommend grits without cheese, so throw some of that in also!
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup coarse grits
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- Add water, milk, butter and marinara to a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
- Once liquid is simmering, whisk in grits in a slow stream. Whisk constantly to make sure the grits don’t clump together.
- Whisk mixture constantly over low heat until it thickens substantially. It should take 15 to 20 minutes to thicken.
- Season the grits with salt and pepper and stir in the grated cheese. Continue to stir until cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately.
To keep things clear-cut, I like to call the liquid version of this dish grits and the solidified version polenta. So if you have leftover grits, you can easily make polenta.
- Pour the warm leftover grits out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Let them sit at room temperature until cool, and they will harden into a single block.
- Cut the block into squares and store them in the fridge until needed.
- When you want to serve the polenta, reheat by frying it in a bit of butter until the outside is crispy and slightly browned.
Find more cheesy grits on Food Republic: