No.91
Recipe Card

White Cheddar Grits with Ancho Chile Butter

Bijouxs is back taking holiday sides and this week how to add true grits to your holiday table – White Cheddar Grits with Ancho Chile Butter – a sublime and creamy side that takes the place of mashed potatoes and maybe best of all is a recipe that excels in a slow cooker – let’s get going and get some true grits.

True grits, a dish revived by Southern chefs, deeply rooted in American history and completely delicious. Grits were never the first thing that came to mind as a holiday side dish until a true Southerner moved in next door. Grits, along with other Southern cooking delicacies became a part of the Bijouxs kitchen, along with some good life lessons.

Grits consist of ground corn, part and parcel to other corn-based porridges, such as the polenta, a staple in Italian cuisine, which is combined with grits in this recipe. Preparing and enjoying true grits will bear no resemblance to the instant version lining supermarket shelves, with just a little time and a slow cooker, true grits may be yours.

First step get yourself some true grits. At the top of my list is Anson Mills, where handmade mill goods are made with organic heirloom grains, a labor of love to bring classic Southern grains to the table. They offer a great selection, more than just grits, with cooking instructions and information on their website. Locally in LA, Surfas stocks some of the Anson Mills products, look to the refrigerated case where they are stored to ensure freshness. I chose Anson White Antebellum Grits and a fine white Italian polenta for the recipe.

White cheddar grits are infused with garlic and shallots, slow cooked with stock and cream and served on the side with ancho chile butter (that’s West meets the South). The slow cooker is truly the way to go, sautéed garlic and shallots are combined with the grits, polenta, stock and cream and off to cook for about 1-2 hours with a stir here and there, lastly mix in the cheddar cheese, and served draped with the ancho chile butter. Consider grits instead of mashed potatoes, a Southern side of the holidays.

True grits could not be a more appropriate recipe for this week’s post. High winds, up to 90 miles an hour, swept through the area, wreaking havoc with hundreds of downed trees and power lines, leaving the “ranch” without power for 6 days. So, people and pets packed up, and just returned to clean up and begin restocking the fridges and freezers, all perishable foods were lost. (I was able to save 4 pounds of frozen pitted sour cherries and leaf lard for holiday baking, yay!). Much gratitude to our friends for opening their warm home, feeding us delicious hot meals and keeping spirits high.

True grits, a simply delicious Southern side dish for your holiday table and having true grits is also an expression from the southern United States meaning strength of mind and the courage to see through one’s convictions even in the face of strong adversity, something I see we really all do very well.

Please note: Correction to recipe=1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese (original posted recipe read only 1/2 cup, which will work, but much better with the full amount of cheese) Thank you!

As always, enjoy. B
Recipe Card
  1. Wow, sorry to hear of your electricity loss. I had no problems where I am. I’m sure the comfort of your true grits were a warm homecoming!

    • Bijouxs writes

      Hi Lentil! Greatest loss was all the goodies in the Bijouxs refrigerator freezer! You are spot on, a bowl of creamy grits is such a comfort. Thank you!

  2. Trish writes

    This looks divine, especially for the gluten intolerant out there. I have been using ‘harina pan’ a South American corn meal, would this be ok for the grits as I am not sure where to buy what you refer to here in Sydney.

    • Bijouxs writes

      Hi Trish! Welcome to Bijouxs! I realize that grits are a unique American dish, but I think the ‘harina pan’ corn will work. I’d follow the cooking instructions as far as liquid amounts (using some stock & cream) and if it is a finer grain (like polenta?) you will need to reduce the cooking time. The grits I used are a coarse grind, so that is why the slow cooker works so beautifully. I am curious now about what ground corn products are available for you. Let me know how it goes and I will do some checking! Love this regional food conversation! Best.

  3. Valentina writes

    seriously, this dish looks AMAZING. I love the ancho chili butter!!!

    • Bijouxs writes

      Hello Valentina! This dish is a serious side, with or without the ancho chile butter, which by the way can be frozen and used on other dishes. Enjoy!

  4. I’m pretty sure you had me at ‘ancho chile’ and ‘white cheddar grits’–holy moly, this looks good! Pure comfort food at it’s best. Exactly how I like it.

    I don’t have a slow cooker, but I’m sure my rice cooker could make great grits! I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve never made them before… You make me want to change this little fact as soon as possible.

    Love your photos and site!

    • Bijouxs writes

      Hi Laura! Yes, you are so right this is a pure comfort side – luxury with a simple grilled meat or think about these grits with over-easy eggs for a brunch and of course the ancho chile butter.
      Thank you and please enjoy.

  5. Valentina writes

    just had to tell you that this was as good as it looks! i was so lucky to get to taste this at Greg’s holiday party. thank you for sharing it! i’ve had ancho chilies on my mind ever since. xo

  6. LiztheChef writes

    Holy cow – this is just what I have been looking for! XO

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