Grits are probably one of the more popular comfort foods in the southern portion of the United States. Like most comfort foods, they are not real exciting on their own, but this familiar food takes the addition of corn and andouille sausage well, making a dish that even those non-grits fans can appreciate. This recipe does not make a large amount—its two main course servings or 4 side-dish servings. To reheat any leftovers, even in the microwave, stirring in a few tablespoons of milk prior to reheating eliminates the tendency to create lumps. (More basic information about grits can be found in Food 101: What are grits)
The cream-style corn adds a touch of sweetness, and the andouille sausage has a bit of spice. If you don’t have andouille, smoked sausage will make a slightly blander version. Remember while cooking grits, boiling grits can spatter, resulting in burns. If in doubt, wear oven mitts while stirring.
Not everyone likes grits, their bland flavor and texture is unappealing to those unfamiliar with them, and often their first introduction to them is the lumpy, unpleasant version served in some greasy spoon café in the wee hours of the morning, accompanied by some coffee that could tar a highway and is nearly old enough to vote. For all of you out there, that’s not real grits any more than that was real coffee. These grits can accompany dinner as gracefully as a breakfast omelet, and have enough character to stand on their own as a budget-wise main dish.
Creamy grits with corn and andouille sausage
- 1 c. milk
- 1 c. quick grits
- ½ can of cream-style corn
- ¾ c. andouille sausage, cut into ½” cubes
- ½ c. swiss cheese, shredded (cheddar, American, mozzarella, parmesan, or Monterey jack can also be used)
- 3 tbsp. butter or margarine
Bring milk to a boil, stir in corn. Slowly add grits, stirring continuously. Bring back to a boil, and keep on stirring continuously. Do not let the grits stick to the pan or become lumpy! Cook about 10 minutes, stirring continuously. When grits start to thicken, stir in andouille, reduce heat slightly and keep stirring for another 2-3 minutes, then add butter. Cook & stir another 1-2 minutes, then add cheese, stirring to mix it thoroughly with the grits. Remove from heat. Serve hot.
Notice that this recipe does not call for additional salt—the sausage & corn both already have salt added, and both the butter & cheese also will have sodium in it. Additional salt is just not necessary.
The cooking & stirring is important while cooking these grits to ensure a creamy texture. Without it, it tends to be a “gritty” textured dish, and lacks the creamy smoothness it should have. This is my absolute favorite way to serve grits!