Pimp My Grits with Pimento Cheese, Cherokee Purple-Tomato Salsa, and Jalapeño Cornbread

Adapted by StarChefs.com
November 2013
Yield: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Grits
2 cups white stone-ground grits
2 quarts milk
black pepper
salt
½ cup heavy cream
Pimento Cheese Rounds
480 grams pimento cheese
Sixteen 6-inch squares parchment paper
Salsa
700 grams Cherokee purple tomatoes, medium diced
13 grams jalapeños, minced
10 grams cilantro, finely chopped
Zest of 2 limes
20 grams lime juice
25 grams roasted garlic purée
salt
For the Jalapeño Cornbread
350 grams yellow cornmeal
12 grams jalapeños, minced
10 grams salt
300 grams water
20 grams sriracha
grapeseed oil
To Assemble and Serve
lard for deep frying
salt

METHOD:

For the Grits:
In a double boiler, combine grits and milk. Heat boiler, whisking semi-frequently until grits have expanded, soaked up the milk, and mixture is thick. (This may take up to 2 hours.) Season aggressively with salt and less aggressively with black pepper. Remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream.

For the Pimento Cheese Rounds:
Scoop the pimento cheese in 60-gram balls and press each between 2 squares of parchment paper, spreading the cheese to form 6-inch-diameter Pimento Cheese Rounds.

For the Salsa:
Combine all ingredients and marry at least 1 hour.

For the Jalapeño Cornbread:
Heat oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, jalapeño, and salt and whisk in water and sriracha into 2 quarter sheet trays, pour enough grapeseed oil to just coat bottom of trays. Pour a slightly-less-than- ½ -inch layer of cornbread batter into trays, rotating trays to make sure the batter spreads evenly. Bake about 8 minutes, until cooked through. Cool slightly and cut into rough triangles.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat wood-burning oven to 750ºF. Heat lard in deep fryer to 350ºF. Spoon about 10 ounces of Grits into preheated 6-inch cast-iron skillets and top each with a Pimento Cheese Round. Slide skillets into the oven and when cheese has browned slightly, remove and top Grits with 4 to 6 ounces Salsa. Drop Jalapeño Cornbread in fryer and fry until crisp and golden. Drain and season with salt. Serve a few pieces Cornbread with each skillet of Grits. Encourage dipping.