Recipe By Anson Mills
About 4 cups
15 minutes following an overnight soak; 30 minutes without an overnight soak
Anson Mills quick grits have the whole corn richness and creaminess of their coarse Antebellum grits but are milled somewhat finer. Particle size is relative, of course: the rest of the industry would call grits this size “coarse” or “old-fashioned.” And while it is true that any grain milled fine will finish with slightly diminished texture and flavor compared to that very grain milled coarse, Anson Mills quick grits have certain, indisputable advantages: For one thing, they cook faster. For another, their relatively fine, even texture allows for easy immersion in recipes for tamales, spoonbread, and other Southern or Latin casserole dishes.
It would be remiss of us not to mention that Anson Mills grits benefit enormously from soaking overnight in water before being cooked. Not only is the cooking time shorter for soaked versus unsoaked grits, but the finished texture is also superior because the corn particles experience less trauma during cooking and better hold their shape.
Soaking quick grits in water overnight and cooking them in their soaking liquid reduces their cooking time by about 50 percent. In real terms, this means 1 cup of quick grits, unsoaked, cooks in about 30 minutes; soaked overnight, they cook in about 15 minutes. With their smaller particle size and increased surface area, quick grits require more water at the outset than coarse grits for saucepan cookery. Because they cook more quickly and with more water, we cook quick grits uncovered.
EQUIPMENT MISE EN PLACE
For this recipe, you will need a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan (ideally, one with gently flared sides called a Windsor pan), a small saucepan, a fine tea strainer, and a wooden spoon.
6 ounces (1 cup) Anson Mills Antebellum Medium Yellow Quick Grits
Spring or filtered water
Fine sea salt
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the grits in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan (preferably a Windsor saucepan) and cover them with 3 cups of water. Stir once. Allow the grits to settle a full minute, tilt the pan, and skim off and discard the chaff and hulls with a fine tea strainer. Cover and let the grits soak overnight at room temperature. If you are not soaking the grits, add an additional ¼ cup of water and proceed to the next step.
Set the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the first starch takes hold, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the grits are creamy and fully tender and hold their shape on a spoon, about 15 minutes if the grits were soaked or about 30 minutes if they weren’t. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and stir in the butter with vigorous strokes. Add more salt, if desired, and the black pepper.