Grits are a breakfast staple, but one of my friends refuses to cook them, saying "It's too much of a pain in the ass to cook grits for one." She's right. Although simple to cook in theory, the amount of standing, stirring and cleaning is a bit much if you're going to cook only one serving and don't want leftovers. Fret not, people. Use the leftovers to make grits cakes and mix things up a bit during your next breakfast or dinner.
Making grits cakes is pretty straightforward. Cook grits as usual. (If your usual involves instant grits and a microwave, please get really close to the monitor so I can punch you in the face.) Complete serving the breakfast course, and then return the grits to low heat. Cook out as much as liquid as possible, without burning the damn things, so that the grits are easier to mold.
Mold the grits by pouring them into a glass or other cylindrical container that has a smooth interior. (Sorry, but your too-cute glasses from OverPrice.com won't work well since they've got a divot in the bottom and/or sides). In fact, if you are using a pint glass, you may want to include a skewer or butter knife on the side so that you can easily remove the grits tower from the container. #ProTip: use a baking pan for uniform thickness to up the ante on your presentation. Let the container cool on the counter so excess moisture can evaporate. Refrigerate the grits for at least an hour before you plan to serve.
Create the actual cakes by cutting the molded grits. If you used a cylinder mold, remove the grits and slice to the desired thickness. Use a cookie cutter if you formed your grits with a baking pan. Voila! Grits cakes.
Heat and sear the cakes on a griddle prior to serving.
You're probably thinking, "Great. Now what?" Why not whip up some turkey necks to serve over grits cakes?
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If that sort of thing is not your bag, baby, then use the cakes for a slightly different approach to breakfast. What about subbing the cakes for muffins on eggs Benedict? Too complex? A simple approach is to add seasoned, scrambled eggs to the pan as you're searing the cakes. The grits will add an interesting texture to your omelet if prepared carefully, or you can choose to serve them as independent egg/grits concoctions.
How do you like your grits? Drop me a line in the comments so that I can try it.