Photo: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Marian Cooper Cairns
Ramp up your buttermilk grits with Cajun-style Andouille sausage and rich smoked Gouda for a bowl bursting with flavor. Lightly brown the sausage to bring out the flavors, and use a dash of hot sauce and chopped fresh parsley to complement the Cajun taste. Smoked Gouda is great for when you want a cheese with its own signature taste to stand out, rather than blend in, with a strong ingredient like this sausage. Buttermilk adds a subtle, creamy tang to these stone-ground grits that were inspired by the extraordinary artisan grits made by Jim Barkley’s mill, Barkley’s Mill, in North Carolina. For his stone-ground grits, Barkley uses vintage gristmills that were refurbished and placed in a pristine millhouse at Barkley’s Mill, and the beauty of these old machines is more than stone-deep. Grinding between the vertical stones of the gristmills keeps the corn from overheating during the milling process, protecting the integrity of the whole grain. The freshly ground grits are scooped by hand into cloth sacks, tied closed, and chilled. Those who appreciate corn grits know that this specially crafted flavor is worth every penny! Grits fit in with just about any Southern meal, at any time of day, on any holiday, or with any dish. Shrimp and grits, grits casserole, and grit cakes are some of our favorites; but it’s hard to beat this bowl full of Creole-style grits with sausage.
Bring 4 cups water, 1 cup whole milk, and 1 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Gradually whisk in 1 cup uncooked stone-ground grits; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until creamy and thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.
Cook 8 oz. chopped andouille sausage in a large skillet over medium until lightly browned, about 4 minutes; drain on paper towels.
Remove from grits heat, and stir in 3⁄4 cup whole buttermilk, 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, and cooked sausage. Add 8 oz. smoked Gouda cheese, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, and 1 Tbsp. hot sauce. Stir until Gouda cheese is melted and smooth.