Sunday, February 9, 2014

tastes of the south - fritters & grits

It is amazing how quickly Southern culture worked its way into our lives. Whether it's talking to people on elevators, throwing out a "bless" at any unfortunate situation, or enjoying cheesy grits for Sunday morning brunch - the South has had a positive impact on us!
This brings me to two Southern inspired dishes - both so delicious and very manageable to make. Carrot & zucchini fritters (above) and sausage 'n parmesan grits (below). For the fritters, I pulsed peeled/chopped carrot and zucchini in the food processor, but you could also shred by hand.
small onion, chopped and lightly sautéed in a bit of butter until translucent
2-3 large carrots, peeled and shredded
2-3 zucchini, partially peeled and shredded (and squeezed dry)
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
S & P to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl mix all ingredients. On a large misted baking pan,  drop fritters. I used an ice-cream scoop (filled it almost full) to delve out the fritters, and I also placed my Silpat mat on the baking sheet to prevent sticking. Bake the fritters for 10 minutes at 375, then lower temp to 350 and carefully flip fritters. Bake for another 15 minutes. Serve with a sour cream based dipping sauce or a bit of apple sauce - yum!
sausage 'n parmesan grits soufflé via Parade Magazine
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup stone ground grits
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4-5 shakes of Tabasco
S & P to taste
12 ounces cooked sausage, crumbled (chicken, pork, spicy...whatever your preference)

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly butter a 4-cup 
soufflé dish. Combine 1 1/2 cups water and the milk in a heavy saucepan and warm the mixture over medium-low heat. Slowly stir or whisk in the grits until smooth and thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl. Gradually stir some of the hot grits into the yolks to temper them. Then stir the tempered egg yolks into the grits. Set aside to cool slightly. Stir the Parmesan cheese, sausage crumbles, Tabasco sauce, salt, and pepper into the grits. Place egg whites in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, and beat with an electric mixer until the whites are stiff but not dry. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whites into the grits until just combined. Scrape the mixture into the soufflé dish and bake in the center of the oven until the soufflé rises and is lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
This dish is golden on top and fluffy inside - so delicious for Sunday brunch. The original recipe did not have sausage, so feel free to leave it out for a vegetarian option. 

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