Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cooking with Dr. Monkey

Sparky got me Vivian Howard's cookbook for Christmas. (If you don't know who Vivian is, then look her up you lazy uninformed bastards.) And I decided to make one of her restaurant's most popular dishes, pimento cheese grits with salsa.

Confession #1 first though, when I moved south in 1974 I tried grits and I hated them  They tasted like paste mixed with sand. But later I found out that the problem was all the grits I tried back then were crap.  Don't ever eat Quaker Oats brand grits, especially the instant ones, they're fucking awful.  These days I love love love grits, especially Lakeside brand, they're made from yellow corn so they're nice and yellowy.  The best dishes begin with the best ingredients. 

I began by cooking my grits.  I cooked enough for the two of us, which is a half a cup of grits stirred into two cups boiling water.  You stir them until the grits absorb all the water and if you have to, mash out all the lumps. 

 Once my grits were done, I greased a cast iron skillet with butter.

Then I poured my grits into the skillet and let them cool completely.  

After I made the rest of the meal, I put my grits into the oven to bake.  I baked them at 375 F for about 15 minutes. Then I put the pimento cheese on of them and I baked them for 10 more minutes. 

After they finished baking I took them out and I spread some of my homemade canned salsa on them and I cut them into pizza like slices. 

I served them with fried chicken legs and some turnip greens.  

The verdict: DELICIOUS. The grits were fantastic and the pimento cheese and salsa complimented each other like crazy.  I am definitely making this dish again.

Confession #2: I didn't follow Vivian's recipe exactly, I used it as a template rather than something to exactly slavishly follow.  Mine turned out fine, even if they were a little less crispy looking then hers looked in her cookbook.

Sidenote, once I finish reading her cookbook I will review it here, so stay tuned.

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