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Kristen is the Creative Director of Food52
Real, coarse grits will take time, though soaking overnight will help. Here are some great instructions from Anson Mills, who know their grits: http://www.ansonmills.com...
I cook them often. I use 4 parts water (sometimes a splash of milk makes up part of the 4) to 1 part grits and cook about 25 to 30 min. Keep the heat low, but not too low or they'll never cook. I like to stir in an egg just about a minute before removing from the heat. Be sure to salt the water well (think pasta). You can eat them savory, with black pepper and butter or sweet with sugar or maple syrup and butter - two entirely different experiences but both delicious.
If you want to be free from stirring, I use the Martha Rose Schulmanm method: 1 cup cornmeal to 1 quart water, 1 tsp salt, bake uncovered at 350 for 50 minutes. Stir in one tablespoon of butter and return to oven for 10 minutes. They are perfectly creamy and you don't have to stand and stir! I always add more salt because grits love salt!
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