Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Well, Kiss My Grits!!

Those of you who remember the 1970's TV sitcom "Alice" these words will bring back polyester memories that you may or may not wish you had. Our friend Flo brought the word "Grits" into our vocabulary and made them a pop cultural icon; at least the word itself. Unfortunately, most people have probably not had the pleasure of tasting the food of which she speaks so distastefully.
Grits, also called "hominy" could best be classified as a traditional southern breakfast food. It is similar to several other grain-based porridges found around the world. It also holds the distinction of being the 'official state food' of the state of South Carolina. If you have ever traveled the highways and biways south of the Mason-Dixon line you may have stopped in a "Waffle House" or a "Cracker Barrel" and seen them on the menu. You may have even had them as a side dish and wondered what they are. If you were brave enough to try you may have even liked them. If you did not, perhaps it's time you did.
Of all of the foods that I miss from back home, grits is probably NOT one I would have expected to miss. It's simple and if not prepared right, almost tasteless. However, a fellow southerner who returned to the southland after 10 years in Korea bequeathed me a large cardboard container of Quaker Instant Grits. It sat in my cupboard for almost 6 months now. This morning, I was searching the cabinets for something healthy and of reasonably low calories for my breakfast. I found the grits and decided that they would be sufficiently quick and filling. But I really didn't want to eat them plain so I thought, 'what if I make the grits like I would make a typical Korean rice porridge (죽)?' Low and Behold! Fusion Grits!! YUM!!
I think I am going to start a section on Food for this blog and more specifically a "fusion grits" category. For those of you who like to cook or those just looking for some simple recipes for Korean food; check back often. I'll make it a point to try and add something each week.

This week: Grits a la Kim (Korean Laver Grits)
3/4 Cup of instant grits
3 cups of water
1 teaspoon of sesame oil (참기름)
1 teaspoon of soy sauce (간장)
1 teaspoon of black sesame salt (검으깨소금)
1/2 package of seasoned dried Korean laver/seaweed sheets (구이김)

First, Chop or crush the Laver into crumblike pieces as small as possible and set that aside for later.

Then, make the grits as per the instructions on the package.

During the thickening stage of cooking the grits, stir in 1 teaspoon
of sesame oil.

After the grits have cooked completely (you can adjust consistency to your preference by adding or subtracting the amount of water) garnish the grits with the laver crumbs, the black sesame salt and soysauce to taste.

Mix well and enjoy these Korean redneck grits. Go Reds!

1 comment:

Carolyn gail said...

Well butter my butt and call it a biscuit ! As I live and breath
( and thought I knew just about everything) then I come across your recipe for Korean redneck grits. Very inventive . It's fusion alright and the perfect recipe for me - a gal from the South ('Bama born and bred, ROLL TIDE ! married to another kind of Southerner - a South Korean. I've been cooking Korean for many years now and my Seoul mate likes it so much I can hardly get him to go to Korean restaurants anymore. Wait 'til I spring this one on him.

I'm going to do a post on Korean food myself and will add a link to your site. Anyang, Y'all .