Cheesy Grits with Leeks, Pancetta and Egg

Cheesy Grits with Leeks, Pancetta and Egg

Yes, this looks like a hot mess. I understand. But it is a freaking delicious hot mess, and you should try it.

I’ll be honest: I have little patience for pantry space being taking up by 87 different kinds of cornmeal with different names. This is just cornmeal mush — it’s not as coarse as grits or polenta. That said, it was delicious and became wonderfully cheesy, and the texture was quite nice as well, plus one can make cornbread out of the stuff. The pancetta-and-leek topping adds a great deal of flavor without a lot of volume, and of course the runny yolk from the fried egg makes everything richer and more delicious. This also used up several cheese stumps, ends and leftover bits, which is a common problem around here. Sort of. When I don’t eat them. Okay, it’s not that common, but this was a tidy use for all of them. Both Boy Roommate and I enjoyed this dish a lot, which is nice for something that’s relatively cheap (you can sub onions for leeks for more cost savings). It is easy to make this vegetarian, as well: just don’t use bacon.

Cheesy Grits with Leeks, Pancetta and Egg, adapted from Crepes of Wrath

1 c. cornmeal plus water for cooking as instructed on package
1/4 c. cream
1-2 Tbsp. butter
1/2-1 c. total various cheeses, shredded
4-6 slices bacon, cut in lardons
3 leeks, halved and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs

Cook cornmeal mush as instructed on cornmeal package. When it thickens, stir in the cream, butter and cheeses.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet. When it’s crisped, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and let it drain on paper towels. Cook the leeks in the bacon fat until they’re soft, and then add the garlic and cook for another few minutes until everything is golden and lovely. Stir the bacon back in to warm it through once more.

Fry the eggs separately in a small skillet until the whites are just set.

Serve the cornmeal mush topped with the bacon-leek mixture and the egg.

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~ by iliadawry on 2 December 2013.

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