Cheese Grits

So . . . can we count today as day seven and day eight of the 12 Days of Oscar?  For the first time in 12 Days of Oscar history, I skipped a day.  I swear I had my assignment done, but a few reeeeeaaaaaalllly long work days got the better of me and I needed a night off.  To get back on track, today we have the last of Oscar winners past and then we’ll discuss this year’s Oscar nominees.

The final previous Oscar winner in this year’s series is the 1992 movie My Cousin Vinny.  Marisa Tomei won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role as Mona Lisa Vito, the girlfriend of loudmouth New York lawyer Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci).  The pair find themselves in rural Alabama when Vinny’s cousin is put on trial for murder on his way back to college.  This is a classic fish-out-of-water story with some of my all-time favorite one-liners.

There are few lines as good as the ones Gambino delivers when he is served grits for the first time in a diner.  That is, unless you count his dialogue about grits while he’s in court.  Grits actually factor into this movie more than you think grits could ever factor into anything.  I didn’t eat grits until I was thirty, true story.  Grits aren’t something that you encounter very often as a lifelong New Englander.  Then, like a lot of things, I learned to make grits well and the rest is history.  My favorite method is this one, which results in creamy, cheesy, delicious grits.  Oh, and grits are totally not just a breakfast thing.  Cheese grits with shrimp is an amazing dinner.

cheese grits

Cheese Grits


  • 4 C. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 C. old-fashioned grits
  • 4 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • salt and pepper


Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.

Add the garlic and slowly stir the grits.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for 20 minutes, until the grits are tender.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter, and cream.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source:  Food and Wine


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