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Chili-Cheddar Grits with Grilled Corn and Tomatoes


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 111

A good dose of chili powder adds smoky flavor to quickly made grits. Grilled corn and tomatoes, along with Cheddar, make this a rich main course.

  • 3 medium ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. medium plum tomatoes, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) grits
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 4 oz. extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)

Prepare a high gas or charcoal grill fire.

Lightly rub the corn with 1 tsp. of the oil. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the remaining 2 tsp. oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Put the corn and tomatoes, cut side up, on the grill and cover. Grill, turning the corn occasionally (don’t turn the tomatoes), until the corn is browned in places and the tomato skins have darkened and the flesh has softened, 8 to 12 minutes.

Set aside 4 tomato halves for garnish and put the remaining tomatoes in a food processor; pulse until smooth. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cobs.

In a heavy-duty 4-quart saucepan, bring 3-1/2 cups of water and 2 tsp. salt to a boil over high heat. Whisk in the grits, chili powder, and the tomato purée. Bring to a boil and stir in two-thirds of the corn kernels and the scallions.

Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, partially covered and stirring frequently, until the grits are tender and thick, about 5 minutes. Add the cheese and a few grinds of pepper; stir until the cheese melts. Divide the grits among 4 soup bowls and top each with a tomato half and some of the remaining corn. Serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Arugula Salad with Nectarines and Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette would be a fresh counterpoint to this rich dish.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 420, Fat (kcal): 16, Fat Calories (g): 140, Saturated Fat (g): 7, Protein (g): 15, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6, Carbohydrates (mg): 59, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1.5, Sodium (g): 800, Cholesterol (g): 30, Fiber (g): 6,

Photo: Scott Phillips

First off... I love grits, so was really excited to try this recipe. All in all, I thought it was a great way to change them up. I made this on a weeknight, so I just put the corn cob in the broiler to get the grilled flavor. Thought it was great. Will definitely make this one again!!

Great recipe! I really love putting corn on my dishes. When I found these recipes I rushed to cook this for my sister and she enjoys this one! I put on some twist on this recipe which I learned from better check this one for you to find out why I’m a big fan of this site!

This was great. We enjoyed it so much with fresh Farmer's Market corn. The next morning, I cut rounds of it like a polenta roll and served poached eggs on top, added a little cheese and fresh chives. MMMMMM! Thanks!

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