Recipe: Grits

A true grits recipe from the Hungry Mother kitchen of chef Barry Maiden.

Chef Barry Maiden is a stickler about grits: He doesn’t deviate from the cooking method provided by Anson Mills, the South Carolina grist mill that sells some of the best — except to finish them off with tasso ham, cheddar, and chives.
233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave., Cambridge, 617-499-0090, hungrymothercambridge.com.

1 c. Anson Mills coarse-ground grits
2–3 tbsp. unsalted butter, to taste
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 c. grated sharp cheddar
1/2 c. diced tasso ham
2 tbsp. minced chives

Soak grits overnight in enough water to cover them (about 2 cups). When ready to prepare, stir grits, then let settle. Using a mesh strainer, skim off hulls, then drain and transfer grits to a heavy, medium-size saucepan. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until grits begin to thicken, about 5 to 8 minutes (do not boil!). Add salt, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until grits are creamy and thick enough to hold a spoon upright, about 35 to 45 minutes. Finish with butter, salt, and pepper. To serve, preheat broiler. Transfer grits to a ceramic dish and top with cheese and ham. Broil until cheese is bubbly and brown, sprinkle with chives, and serve.