Breakfast Grits with Succotash

Breakfast Grits with SuccotashSouthern Romance
I’m a reader. I easily read 2-3 books a week. Granted, I am not always reading the really heavy stuff. (I have a thing for romance novels. Sorry, not sorry. 😜) I am also that person who will read a series over and over if I love it—which is what I started doing last week. My current selection is a Romance series I have now read three times. It is set in the charming city of Charleston, SC and while all of the characters are fantastic, the real star of these books, in my opinion, is the food.

There’s a lot of talk about bacon, and shrimp, and cheese grits in these pages and it has been making my mouth water the whole time. I have always been a fan of a tasty bowl of shrimp and grits. And, to read the words used to describe them in the story makes my culinary imagination run wild. The recipe that stands out the most is one for a bowl of breakfast grits topped with southern succotash and a poached egg. I mean. I just can’t even…It’s killin’ me!

Unfortunately, there is no recipe to go along with the tasty prose so I had to recreate it on my own. For the first time in a while, I will actually be able to sleep in this Saturday so my plan is to indulge in this recipe over the weekend.

It’s important to use good grits in this situation which, if you ask any self-respecting southerner, means stone-ground grits. Not instant grits. It’s up to you whether you go with the white or yellow version. Personally, I prefer the yellow. Here on the West Coast, it can be difficult to find the really good artisan grits though you can sometimes find them at the farmers market or you can always get them online. If you don’t want to wait that long (I feel your pain.) I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Grits.

And, I called for fried eggs for the recipe because they are easier. But, if you have a good system for poaching go to it! They’ll be delicious.

Also, butter and half n half are a must. Leave your diet at the door. Anything worth doing is worth doing it the right way. And, in this case, that means butterfat and cream. Oh, and bacon, let’s not forget the bacon. I will be leaving the okra out of the succotash, though. My Florida raised husband had okra forced upon him as a child and it didn’t end well. If I served this to him with okra, he might get lawyers on the phone…

Breakfast Grits with Succotash
Yields 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
Succotash

10 ounces fresh or frozen baby lima beans (2 cups)
4 center-cut bacon slices
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh corn kernels, frozen can be substituted
1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
5 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (1 cup)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Grits
3 cups water
2 cups half n half
1 cup stone-ground grits
4 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
4 to 6 eggs for frying (or poaching)

Directions
Make the Succotash
Place the lima beans in a medium saucepan, and add enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high then reduce it to medium-low, and simmer until the beans are just tender (about 8 to 10 minutes). Drain the beans and set aside.

Prepare the bacon
While beans simmer, place the bacon slices in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crisp (about 8 minutes, turning once after 5 minutes). Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain the fat. When cool enough to handle, crumble the bacon and set it aside. Reserve the drippings in the skillet.

Cook the onions and garlic
Add the chopped onion and garlic to the bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until onion is just tender (about 6 minutes). Stir in the corn kernels, salt, pepper, and drained beans. Cook, stirring often, until the corn is tender and bright yellow (about 5 to 6 minutes). Add the butter, and cook, stirring constantly, until it is melted (about 1 minute). Remove the corn mixture from the heat. Stir in halved cherry tomatoes and the sliced basil.

Make the Grits
Add the water, heavy cream, and half n half to a pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Slowly add in the grits while whisking steadily.

Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 5-7 minutes, whisking frequently. Remove the grits from the heat. Add the butter, salt, and pepper to taste.

Cook the Eggs
While the grits are cooking either fry up or poach the number of eggs you require to your favorite degree of doneness.

Serve the grits in bowls topped with the succotash, crumbled bacon, and eggs.

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