If you like cheese grits, then you will love my new twist on this classic Southern dish, Southern Spicy Tomato-Cheese Grits!
Southern Spicy Tomato-Cheese Grits combines three of my favorite foods, grits, cheese, and bacon in a wonderfully delicious and flavorful one-dish meal that is so versatile it can be served for breakfast or brunch, lunch or even a light dinner. We had this yummy dish a week ago for dinner, and I took some to a friend who just had surgery. And, can I just tell you it was scrumptious! It’s a quick and easy meal to prepare, and you can have it on the table in under 30 minutes. Perfect for those nights when you don’t want to prepare a large meal and just want something simple. Of course, it’s also perfect served as a yummy breakfast or brunch dish for a lazy Sunday or when you have company.
And yes, I’m still obsessed with summer tomatoes and, combined with bacon and two kinds of cheese, these tomatoes which were from our friend Mike’s garden, elevate a simple grits dish from ordinary to extraordinary!
If you like this grits recipe, you should also try my delicious make-ahead Southern Cheese Grits Casserole and Easy Cheesy Parmesan Shrimp and Grits. Also, you might be interested in my Easy Classic Southern Tomato Pie recipe and my Tomato Cobbler with Cornmeal-Cheddar Biscuits recipe.
This recipe does call for peeled tomatoes, which can be a pain, but I am including easy step by step instructions below for “How to Peel Tomatoes,” that will have the peels almost falling off the tomatoes.
The ingredients for Southern Spicy Tomato-Cheese Grits are simple: bacon, chicken broth, quick cooking grits, fresh summer tomatoes, chopped green chiles, cheddar cheese, goat cheese and kosher salt.
Tutorial: How to Peel Tomatoes Easily:
1 Remove the core of the tomato by first removing the stem and then inserting a very sharp paring knife at an angle around 1/2-inch from the center of the tomato. Push the tip of the knife down about 1-inch and angle towards the center of the tomato. Twist the knife around until the core pops out.
2. Then bring a large pot of water to a boil. The water needs to be deep enough that the tomatoes will be completely submerged.
3. Slice a shallow “X” in the bottom of the tomato.
4. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set it next to the stove.
5. Place the tomatoes into the boiling water.
6. Watch for their skins to start to split, which usually takes from 45 to 60 seconds, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the ice-water bath to stop the cooking process.
7. Use your fingers to peel back the tomato skins, which should slip off easily.
When you are ready to make Southern Spicy Tomato-Cheese Grits, gather your ingredients.
Cook the bacon in a large heavy saucepan or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. (I used a 10-inch cast iron pan to make this dish and as you can see in the photo below, it really wasn’t large enough, so you might want to use a larger pan or even a Dutch oven.) When the bacon is crisp remove it from the pan, and drain all but 1-2 Tbsp of bacon drippings. Drain the bacon on paper towels.
Add the chicken broth and salt to the pan, and bring to a boil. Stir in the grits, chopped tomatoes, and green chiles; return to a boil and stir continuously to prevent lumps. When the mixture has come back to a boil, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan or forming lumps. (There is nothing worse in grits than lumps! It’s about the same as finding an egg shell in egg salad.)
When the grits are done, stir in the cheddar cheese and goat cheese and continue to stir until both are melted, and the grits are creamy.
Top with chopped bacon and garnish with chopped parsley if desired. Serve immediately.
*Leftover grits can be reheated in the microwave or on the stove. You might want to add a small amount of water and mix well to bring it back to the correct consistency.