Throughout my travels through Louisiana, I indulged in quite a bit of shrimp and grits — a comfort food that’s a signature dish for the coastal south. If you’re unfamiliar with grits, they’re kind of like the American version of polenta consisting of ground up cornmeal and cooked in hot water until it’s soft and cereal-like. Sometimes you’ll find them saturated with butter and cheese, and there’s all kinds of debate over whether grits should be soupy or thick like mashed potatoes (in the south, I think that preference all depends on how your Mama made them). But one thing is for sure, you can throw together whatever vegetable or meat you have in your fridge with a pot of grits and it will make it into a meal.
I love recreating my favorite travel meals at home, but since Pete has a shellfish allergy, I had to modify this one a bit. And it’s not too big of a stretch since some of the shrimp and grits I enjoyed in Louisiana had sausage too. So, I took a look at a few of the cookbooks I brought back home from Shreveport and Covington and modified a recipe to include one of Pete’s favorite simple meals of sausage with peppers, and one of my favorite comfort foods of super cheesy grits.
When you’re shopping for the ingredients on this list, it’s best to buy a block of really good sharp cheddar and shred it yourself rather than getting a bag of pre-shredded cheese. It takes just a little extra time and you’ll get a much more sharp cheddar flavor. Enjoy!
Cheesy Grits With Andouille Sausage
|Cajun Sausage & Grits|| |
- 4-6 Andouille Sausage Links
- 8 ounces sharp white cheddar
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 sweet Vidalia onion, diced
- 1 tbsp Tony Chachere's
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup grits
- 3-4 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
- Green Tobasco to taste
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Pour the chicken stock into a large saucepan and set to medium-high to bring to a boil. Stir in the grits, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While you're waiting for the grits, heat oil in a large skillet. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic, sprinkle with Tony Chachere's and sauté in heated skilled for 2-3 minutes until they've softened.
- While peppers and onions are cooking, slice the sausage links at a diagonal angle, about ½ inch thick. Add the sausage to the sauté pan with peppers and onions and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomato paste and stir together with the sausage and pepper mixture until blended. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the sausage is cooked through.
- When the grits are done, remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve a heaping spoonful of grits, top with sausage and peppers, and add Green Tobasco to taste.
- Serves 4-6. Or one really hungry man.
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