Grits (not quite shrimp and grits from Charleston 2018)
I first discovered grits in Atlanta - at a conference in 96 or 98. I had gone for breakfast one day some tiny cafe announcing 'the best grits in town' and tried it. It was an instant hit. I like gloopy, slimy foods anyway - this is not a good advert for grits is it! - but this was like comfort food heaven! The recipe below is a bit more upmarket maybe. Not quite the amazing shrimp and grits I ate in Charleston in 2018, but definitely worth a try.
I cup white stone ground grits
2 cups milk (or less of this and more of the stock; or no milk at all, only stock)
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetarian if you prefer)
2 fresh chillies finely chopped fine
1 small piece of ginger finely shopped or grated
Half a cup of grated cheese – cheddar or parmesan
Large handful of parsley, chopped
Bring the liquid to boil, then add the grits and salt and chillies and parsley and ginger, and bring back to boil then simmer on very low fire, stirring constantly for about 20 to 30 minutes. Add a bit of hot water or stock if too dry. Throw in the cheese towards the end, but let it blend in.
Eat hot in a wide soup bowl, and garnish on top with a few torn parsley leaves. You can also add a bit of fried spring onions, or fried shrimps or fried any veg, decoratively placed on top.