The Super Bowl is right around the corner!
Most people might be interested in appetizer recipes, but I thought it would be fun to make something more substantial.
Not only is my Cajun Pork and Grits
recipe inspired by the home of the Super Bowl this year (New Orleans), but it also gives a good opportunity to review how to make grits the right way.
Grits are nothing fancy. In fact, they are about as simple as you can get. They are just ground up corn! There are a few different grinds for grits available – I always like to use a coarse grind.
You can cook grits in any liquid. Water is pretty boring though. I’ve seen grits that use 100% milk or milk and cream, but I find those to be a bit too rich.
Half water and half milk plus some butter is the mixture that I like; it makes them creamy. In a medium pan over medium heat bring the mixture up to heat until it’s almost simmering. Be careful not to get it too hot or the milk will scald!
Once the liquid mixture is steaming nicely, whisk in your grits. Grits expand a lot as they cook and can also clump together, so the best way to get them cooking is to pour them in as you whisk so they stay separate.
Put the grits back over medium heat and continue to stir until they thicken. This will probably take 10-15 minutes. If they get super thick but aren’t soft when you taste them that means you need more liquid, so add in a bit more milk or water.
Once the grits are thick and soft, then you can stir in your cheese, which will give the grits some fantastic flavor.
Once the cheese is melted, taste the grits for salt and pepper. They will most likely need a big pinch of both.
Then they’re done! Note that if you take these off the heat for a few minutes, they will start to thicken and eventually solidify. If you aren’t eating them immediately, keep them on low heat and keep adding liquid so they stay thick, but don’t turn into a brick.
Grits are great on their own, but they are also fantastic to serve with proteins. Shrimp and grits is a classic southern treat, but I wanted to make something a little different. So I mixed up some spicy Cajun rub and roasted a pork loin that I served over the grits.
There are a bunch of Cajun spice blends you can find in the store, but the homemade blend I list in the recipe is really delicious if you have access to all the spices.
Rub the pork loin really well with the spices and then roast it at 350 degrees until it reaches an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees. It’s really important to use a meat thermometer so you can know when the pork is done.
A two-pound pork loin will need to roast for probably close to an hour. Once it reaches the right temperature, remove it from the oven and cover it with foil so it can rest.
Let it rest for 10 minutes and then slice it into rounds for serving.
Serve the pork over the hot grits and garnish with chopped scallions!
Honestly, this meal is great for dinner or breakfast. Or lunch. Whenever you want to eat it, it’ll be good!
Oh… and go Broncos!
Nick would like to make dinner for Peyton after he wins the Super Bowl! Be sure to check out Nick's blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on his Tablespoon Profile.