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Artichokes and Cheesy Grits

Buttery garlic fried artichokes on a bed of cheesy grits makes for a delicious vegetarian alternative to shrimp and grits.
Course Brunch, Entree
Cuisine American
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Cheese, Vegetable
Diet Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Pescatarian, Vegetarian

Ingredients

for the sauteed artichokes

  • 12 baby artichokes
  • 1 tablespoon cultured unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • salt (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • pimentón (to taste)
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • 1 lemon (zested)
  • chives

for the grits

  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Grits
  • 60 grams Grated cheese (I used Gruyere and Pecorino Romano)
  • 1/3 cup cream (half and half)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (halve if using regular salt)
  • black pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the baby artichokes by removing all the tough outer leaves. You want to get down to the leaves that are mostly yellowish-green. Trim the stem and any dark green bits from the base of the artichoke, trim the top 1/3 of the artichoke leaves off and discard, then quarter the artichoke lengthwise. Put the artichokes in cold water with a splash of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. When the water comes to a boil, add the artichokes and boil for 2 minutes. Drain them and put them on paper towels while you prepare the grits.
  2. Bring the water and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle the grits on the boiling liquid and turn down the heat to medium low. Stir regularly with a silicon spatula to keep the grits from burning to the bottom of the pan. When they are cooked, the mixture should get very thick. You can test a bite to check; the bits of corn should still be firm, but not crunchy. Add the cheese and half and half and stir together. Taste it, then add salt to taste (I added about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, but it depends on how salty your cheese is).

  3. Meanwhile, add the butter and olive oil to a saute pan over medium high heat, then add garlic and fry until fragrant but not browned. Add the artichokes then toss to coat with oil. Fry until the garlic is golden brown and the artichokes have browned a little around the edges, then salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the heat and drizzle with lemon juice, tossing to coat evenly.
  4. Plate by spreading a layer of grits down, then top with the garlic artichokes. Dust some pimentón on top, then sprinkle with lemon zest and chives.