Polenta and grits are both made from cornmeal. So, what's the difference? NPR ran a piece as part of their Kitchen Window series that deals with that question — Anson Mills founder Glen Roberts is quoted in the piece describing the difference as he sees it: while both grits and polenta are made from stone-ground cornmeal, "Southern grits and Italian polenta are traditionally made from two vastly different types of corn. How many times it's milled and the fineness of the grind also differ. And then there's the taste and texture." Personally, we think both are equally good!
2 1/2 cups water (or use part milk or broth)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup quick grits
4 to 8 oz. (1 to 2 cups) grated sharp Cheddar cheese (start with 4 oz. and add more depending on your preference)
4.5 oz. can green chilies, optional -- for added spiciness
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Bring water and salt to a boil in a medium to large saucepan.
- Slowly stir grits into briskly boiling water.
- Reduce heat to medium low; cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Add cheese, chilies, red pepper flakes and garlic powder; continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.
Cheesy Grits with Fried Morels