Nassau Grits

This recipe for dressed-up grits is an adaptation of one in The Florida Cookbook by Jeanne Voltz and Caroline Stuart.

Nassau Grits
These grits are flecked with ham and bacon and blushed with tomatoes.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 cup (about 6 oz.) finely chopped smoked ham
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 34 cup old-fashioned stone-ground white grits
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning once, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon, leaving the drippings in the skillet, to a paper towel–lined plate to let drain and cool. Crumble the bacon into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Reserve about 3 tbsp. of the bacon drippings in the skillet and discard the rest. Reheat the skillet over medium heat, add the onions and the peppers, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ham and cook, stirring, until the peppers are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes (with their juice) along with the garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture has evaporated, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 3 cups water to a boil in a medium pot. Add grits and salt to taste, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, thick, and creamy, about 30 minutes. Stir in the ham–tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve grits sprinkled with reserved bacon.