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
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…
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.