This past Sunday, on our way out of Durham, we stopped in to Watt’s Grocery for brunch with my friend Julia. I’d not been to Watt’s (cue long list of amazing Durham restaurants we can start trying now that we’re back in NC) but my Mom had given us some of their coffee for Christmas and it was delicious, so I felt confident about the decision. Good coffee is a staple of any brunch. Followed closely by good bloody marys and good breakfast meat.
Dan ordered their breakfast tacos and Julia and I each ordered the grits bowl. Basic premise- bowl of grits and a list of toppings to choose from. I ended up with salsa, cheese, avocado, sausage, and a fried egg. It was delicious. The frothy cheesy grits and all the toppings came together into a filling brunch that left nothing to be desired. I just kept thinking this would be great for a dinner party.
My favorite kind of dinner party to throw is a make-your-own style party. Whether it’s personal pizzas, grilled cheese, or tacos this easy method of throwing together a base and then providing a ton of toppings makes for a fun AND simple party. And grits bowls definitely fit the mold.
Last night (and again today for breakfast) Dan and I tried it for ourselves. I made a big pot of spicy cheese grits and then put out salsa (fresh from the market), chicken sausage, cheese, avocado, and fried eggs. Perfection. Grits are an awesome base but for some reason I always think of them as a dish- shrimp and grits, chicken and grits, grits squares, what have you. This got me thinking about all the possibilities for all the things you could put on top of grits- black beans, corn, barbeque, roasted sweet potatoes, anything! I see this becoming a regular dinner option as well as a party in the new kitchen. Once we make friends in Wilmington, of course.
3 parts milk
1 parts grits
1 parts cheddar cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
Red pepper flakes
Heat milk. Stir in grits and spices, slowly. When the grits have thickened add in cheese and lemon juice. Continue to stir until they’ve reached your desired thickness.