grits takedown at the nyc food film festival

Do I like grits?! Has a cat got climbin’ gear? Are there cows in Texas? Do I like grits… – from Stan Woodwards’ It’s Grits

Waiting in line with my taste-testing companion for the Grits Takedown at the NYC Food Film Festival

Waiting in line with my taste-testing companion for the Grits Takedown at the NYC Food Film Festival

I have one final post from the NYC Food Film Festival … and perhaps it’s the last one coming because I have so many photos for it that it’s hard to whittle it down to something to post. I’d yet to make it to any of Matt Timms’ other takedown events (he’s done a chili takedown… lamb takedown… bacon takedown… you name it) so I was glad to not only make it to one, but that it was this time focused on such a glorious food group. I kind of regret not competing. It I had, mine would have been one of only two entrants on the sweeter side of grits (which is my preparation of choice).

As the entrants prepared their various dishes, the audience was treated to Stan Woodwards’ film It’s Grits as a celebration of the film’s 30th anniversary. I can’t believe I’ve never seen this before! It was awesome. Entirely in black and white, he talked to all sorts of people throughout the South showing the common thread regardless of age, race, rich, or poor – everyone ate grits.

From there, we went straight into the Grits Takedown, lining up the audience in two lines. We were allowed a small portion of each entrant’s take on grits, ranging from traditional to ethnic spins. Very creative. I find the photos speak much more than words on most of the ones here, so I will let them do their thing…

So many grits, so little time... portion of round #1 of sampling

So many grits, so little time... portion of round #1 of sampling

Grandma's Roasted Red Pepper Coulis Grits - This was 2nd place in the judge's choice and was my favorite.  The entrant's grandma was from Hollywood, Alabama!

Grandma's Roasted Red Pepper Coulis Grits - This was 2nd place in the judge's choice and was my favorite. The entrant's grandma was from Hollywood, Alabama!

Fun with grits... throw the slice on the grits behind the cardboard and win a shot of Jim Beam!

Fun with grits... throw the slice on the grits behind the cardboard and win a shot of Jim Beam!

 

The winner of the people's choice were the Brazilian Grits - linguica sausage, hearts of palm, pickled garlic scapes, and piri piri hot sauce. Not my personal favorite, but definitely different.

The winner of the people's choice were the Brazilian Grits - linguica sausage, hearts of palm, pickled garlic scapes, and piri piri hot sauce. Not my personal favorite, but definitely different.

Deep South Dolma (another interesting spin - who'd have thought grits could go Greek?) - Cheddar bacon scallion grits wrapped in collards

Deep South Dolma (another interesting spin - who'd have thought grits could go Greek?) - Cheddar bacon scallion grits wrapped in collards

I thought the most unique preparation were these grit tamale cakes, accompanied by Georgia pecan and grit horchata.

I thought the most unique preparation were these grit tamale cakes, accompanied by Georgia pecan and grit horchata.

One of my faves of the more flavorful offerings - Jalapeno Cheese Grit Cakes with Pulled Pork

One of my faves of the more flavorful offerings - Jalapeno Cheese Grit Cakes with Pulled Pork

While at the event, I also met entrants Daphne and Eric who have their own company here, Pickles and Grits, importing in South Carolina boutique style grits that definitely take the Quaker simplicity up by more than just a notch. Their entrant was shrimp and grits and I found their grits to be of a finer more flavorful quality. Highly recommend! You can order them directly from their website at only $5 a bag.

For more grits pix, click here to see the full set over on Flickr.

And I can’t post on grits without at least sharing a recipe here. Here’s my favorite quick recipe for cheesy grits I found over on the Food Network. I like using sharp Vermont white cheddar for this one (I found one claiming to be xxx-tra sharp). It came out with lots of punch!

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup instant grits
  • 1 cup grated sharp white Cheddar

Scald the milk with the salt in a saucepan over medium heat until little bubbles appear around the outside. Slowly whisk in the grits and continue whisking until the mixture barely simmers. Cook, whisking often, until very thick, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted and smooth. Serve immediately.

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One thought on “grits takedown at the nyc food film festival

  1. Pingback: 2010: a charmed year in review « grits in the city

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