Breakfast Grits with Cheddar and Arugula

PlatedColor.com Grits 5Grits are weird. Is it sand—oatmeal? Is it a mix of both? Forgive my northern taste buds, but the south has staple favorites and navigating my likes and dislikes can be a struggle. I thrive off of shopping and supporting local so extending past my likes to explore grits seemed fair. Beaverdam Creek Mill, in Centerville, Tennessee has a beautiful set up at the Franklin Farmers Market, where I purchased their White Speckled Grits (stone-ground). After searching online for a few 'cheesy' grit recipes to no avail, I decided to just figure it out along the way, using my own (small) cooking intuition. Brave steps in my kitchen with my camera. Beaverdam graciously included the methodology for cooking the grits and I followed it precisely.

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COOKING GRITS: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with salt. Gradually mix in 1/2 cup of grits. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for roughly 20 minutes, or until thick, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in some butter, cracked pepper and salt. Completion of the cooked grits prompted me to plate them on my mini Lodge skillets, top with sharp cheddar cheese and garnish with finely chopped local arugula from Norton Family Farms. Pepper, salt, and the sharp cheddar went along way. Pleasantly surprised. Maybe I do belong in the south.

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Complementing players for this southern breakfast include Ezekiel bread, locally made from Jones Mill Farm in LaVergne, Tennessee. Toasted with butter, this bread is dense and perfect. And of course, coffee from Eighth & Roast in Nashville greets every morning of my life dripped through my Chemex. Today it was extra special because I got to serve my creamer in a new, commissioned pottery piece from V Pottery. Vicki did a wonderful job handcrafting a beautiful creamer container that I can't wait to continue to entertain with. You can view her work here or visit her at the Franklin Farmers Market on Saturday. I'd love to hear how you prepare and plate grits. I've still got plenty to use up!

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