Do you know who Thomas Keller is? No? Ever heard of The French Laundry in Napa Valley? Rings a bell, right?
Let me give you a super quick run down. Thomas Keller is the chef at The French Laundry in Napa Valley, Per Se in New York and, most recently, Ad Hoc in Yountville, CA. He is widely acclaimed and revered as one of the best chefs in the world. And I am guessing that I will never be able to afford to eat at one of his establishments.
Anyway, he has recently published a new cookbook called Ad Hoc at Home . A cookbook I recently purchased for my dear husbands birthday. It’s chopped full of family style recipes that concentrate on using simple, quality ingredients to produce a fabulously delicious meal. I am in love with it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some ingredients in this book that would probably cost me the majority of my grocery budget ( for example, I will probably never purchase a Prime Rib roast) ), but most of the recipes use ingredients that are relatively inexpensive, easy to find ( or grow yourself), or can be substituted for a less expensive alternative. It’s a great cookbook.
What it isn’t is cheap. The book in bookstores is $50. $35 on Amazon. But I feel that this is a really good investment for my kitchen. Much like a good cast iron skillet, or a set of quality knives, Ad Hoc at Home will be used in my kitchen for many years to come.
So, anyway, this recipe for fried grit cakes was one that I particularly enjoyed. I combined a couple of recipes from the cookbook in order to make more than one meal from a pot of grits, but the recipes are essentially the same. And it’s delicious.
Fried Grit Cakes
2 1/2 c. stone ground grits
6 cups chicken stock
2 T minced garlic
2 c. heavy cream
12 T butter ( 1 1/2 sticks) cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/3 c. grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
canola oil for cooking
1/2 c. AP flour
2 eggs beaten
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 T dried basil
Marinara sauce to serve
Bring chicken stock and garlic to a boil in a large pot.
Gradually stir in grits.
Cook and stir for about 5 minutes or until the grits have absorbed the stock and begin to pull away from the pan when you stir.
Add in butter and stir until well incorporated
Stir in cream
Eat some for dinner…and then pour the rest into a greased 9×13 baking dish
Cover with plastic wrap and weight down with something heavy, like another baking dish.
Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Then turn out onto a cutting board and slice into 16 equal pieces.
Place flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Beat eggs with a little water in another bowl. Mix breadcrumbs with dried basil in another shallow dish. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat.
Coat each grit cake in flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture and then place gently in hot oil.
Fry until golden brown on each side and drain on paper towels.
Pour a little marinara over grit cakes and top with a little more Parmesan. And devour.