Tommy DiGiovanni, the chef de cuisine at Arnaud’s in New Orleans, makes grits cakes with yellow stone-ground grits baked with cheese and cut into disks. “Think of the grits cake kind of like a biscuit,” DiGiovanni says, “and top it with whatever you want.” At the restaurant, he serves them with traditional Creole-style grillades—veal scallopini braised in a rich brown gravy. But they go just as well with country ham and redeye gravy, tomato sauce, or chili.
Food & Drink
Cheese Grits Cakes
A savory treat for breakfast and beyond from Arnaud’s in New Orleans
photo: The Voorhes
Yield: 8 servings
1 qt. milk
¾ cup butter, divided
1 cup yellow stone-ground grits
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine milk and ½ cup butter in a 2-gallon saucepan or a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add grits slowly, and cook for 35 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat, and add a little milk if the grits look too stiff. Blend the grits with an immersion blender for 30 seconds, until creamy. Add Swiss cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Pour the mixture into a buttered half sheet pan and spread into an even layer with an offset spatula. Dot with remaining ¼ cup butter and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool, and refrigerate (uncovered) for 30 minutes, and then cut into disks with a 2½-inch pastry cutter. Transfer the disks to a parchment-paper-lined sheet pan. To serve, rewarm in 200°F oven.
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