Smoked Sausages with Cheese Grits and the Difference Between Grits and Polenta
Stone Ground Grits versus Quick Cooking Grits
Stone ground grits are hands down the gold standard. That said, they take much longer to cook than quick cooking grits and are sometimes left off the menu due to that. When there's time, go for stone ground they're amazing. When time is an issue, it's perfectly acceptable to use quick cooking grits instead. Let me clarify by saying quick cooking, not instant grits. Cooked properly they form a delicious base for this recipe and many others.
Other Southern Grits Recipes to Add to the Menu
Grits are to a Southerner what polenta is to an Italian. We love to top them with fried or scrambled eggs along with bacon or ham, sausage gravy, crawfish, grillades or shrimp just to name a few. The options are endless.
- Scrumptious Grits and Green Casserole.
- Shrimp and Cheddar Grits a low country favorite.
- Easy Cheesy Slow Cooker Grits.
- See this article on Southern Living here for tips on cooking stone ground grits.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Smoked Sausages and Cheese Grits
- 2 lbs smoked turkey or chicken sausage links
- 3 ½ cups chicken broth plus additional as needed
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 tsp table salt
- 1 ¼ cup quick cooking grits [Not instant]
- ½ cup heavy cream or half & half
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups shredded colby-jack cheese
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- ½ tsp seasoned salt
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley or cilantro
- Grill smoked sausages on a grill pan or outdoor grill over medium-high for 5 minutes each side and heated through. Remove to a platter and keep warm.
- To prepare the grits: In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the chicken broth, evaporated milk and table salt to a boil.
- Add the grits in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until fully combined. Adjust the temperature to low and allow grits to slowly bubble and thicken. Cook covered for 15-20 minutes until smooth and creamy. Stir periodically to prevent sticking. Add extra broth when needed to thin.
- After grits have reached desired consistency stir in the half & half, butter and shredded colby-jack cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. Remove from heat, keep warm.
- While grits cook, In a medium size saucepan saute the diced onion in a couple of drizzles of olive oil. Saute for 3-5 minutes until onion is soft, translucent and beginning to brown. Add the minced garlic. Saute for one minute longer.
- Add fire roasted tomatoes, seasoned salt, pepper flakes, oregano, basil and sugar. Cover simmering over low heat for 10 minutes until tomatoes break down. Mix in parsley. Keep warm until serving. (Easily doubles)
- To plate: Slice the grilled sausages on bias. Spread the grits onto a plate, top with sausage slices and drizzle the fire roasted tomato sauce. Garnish with additional parsley if desired. Serve immediately.