Posted by: Rachel | May 27, 2013

(not exactly) true grit(s)

I’ve been wanting to try Stella’s “Horseradish Cheese Grits” recipe ever since I got my copy of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook. The recipe seemed straightforward, and I do love horseradish! In fact, I love it so much that I always have both prepared and creamy in my fridge.

So, this afternoon I got a hankering and figured to give it a try. Now you know, if you cook at all, that you should assemble all the ingredients before getting started (mise en place, boys and girls, or, as the Boy Scouts say, be prepared). I didn’t bother, as I knew I had everything I needed. (I’m guessing you know where this is going, right…?)

mise en place... presque

mise en place… presque

I got the grits going (I used 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of water, but more on that later) and started digging around in the fridge for my horseradish. Nope. Nada.



Nothing in the door shelves or in any of the drawers. Nothing lurking behind the milk. Nothing hiding in plain sight, nothing disguised as a jar of something else. Nil, diddly-squat, or, as the tennis set says, “love” (from the French l’oeuf (the egg) for the shape, you see, just in case you are interested). Anyway, you get the picture…

Apparently some fiend had crept in during the night and made off with all my horseradish. I mean, I couldn’t have just run out and forgot to replace it, could I? Nah…

grits cooking

pot o’ grits

So, there I was with a lovely pot of grits half-cooked, feeling all “My Cousin Vinny“-ish and nary an iota of horseradish to be found.

Ok fine, I thought, what now? I had the cheese ready, and the butter, and I figured that would be good enough. I gave the fridge one last quick perusal (how could there not be horseradish in there??) and my eye fell upon a glass jar of Dijon mustard.


Not horseradish, but I do love good mustard, especially with cheese, and so I figured (feeling all clever) why not??

Clever, perhaps, but not original! As I was searching Stella’s blog looking for the link to her “Horseradish Cheese Grits” I discovered her ““Dijon Cheesy Grits” recipe – apparently there is more than one horseradish thief on the loose in Austin!

She made ’em this way:

Stella’s Dijon Cheesy Grits

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup stone-ground yellow grits
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 heaping tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup heavy cream
more salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, salt, and pepper to a boil. Add grits and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring regularly as the mixture thickens (about 25 to 30 minutes). Add more water if needed.

2. Add butter and cheese and stir until melted into grits. Add mustard and stir lightly until mixed in. Finally, pour in cream, stirring constantly until evenly absorbed. Serve immediately with additional salt and pepper as desired.


I did almost exactly the same thing, except I used 1 cup of milk + 1/2 cup of water to cook the grits, and used 1/2 cup of cheddar for the cheese. I also added about 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard – I told you I love it! No heavy cream, but about that much half and half. Oh it was good and there’s enough left over to have tomorrow. Mmmm…

I gotta scoot now, off to the grocery before they close so’s to replace my missing ingredient! Have a great week… and take care, y’all!



  1. Sounds delicious! Don’t really know much about grits other than I think it’s like polenta? Do you eat it as a side, as a dish on it’s on, like porridge? Enlighten this ignorant Brit please? Oh yes, I think that fridge thief comes round to my place too and I do exactly like you, I keep looking and looking just to make sure it hasn’t been put back since I last looked 🙂

    • I think it is a “rose by any other name” issue – although grits seems to be sort of looser than polenta, slightly softer and creamier. That could just be how folks cook it (them?) though, or maybe something about the milling of the corn… You can eat them (it?) as a breakfast item, side dish, or main with a salad if you like. I like! 🙂

  2. Glad you enjoyed ’em! I love both horseradish *and* mustard, as you’ve noticed. 🙂

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