28 January 2011

Cheese Grits with Poached Egg, Frizzled Leeks & Coriander Pesto

I have been away from home for a year and a half.

I don't mind very much, but I'm afraid I won't really recognise it when I return for a visit.  That the place I used to call home will feel only vaguely familiar -- like it's a place I've only dreamt about, but never been.  A place where coriander is called cilantro, where butter is measured in tablespoons instead of grams, and where I don't use the word "quite" quite so often.  I'm afraid I'll get caught pronouncing the "h" in "herb" and people will look at me strangely.

I might be being a bit too dramatic here.

This brunch made me feel like I was at home.  I was totally reminded of hot Atlanta summers and hungover Sunday brunches.  While I might have forgotten how to count American coins, I'll never forget what it felt like to eat in Atlanta, where brunch is for champions who require food to fill the holes in their bellies, due to a combination of excessive beer-drinking and the sweltering heat.  Cheers to the American South.

Cheese Grits with Poached Egg, Frizzled 
Leeks & Coriander Pesto
There are lots of components to this dish, but you can make them one-at-a-time to make your life easier, in the following order.

For the coriander pesto:
fresh coriander, chopped very fine
ground almonds
garlic puree
vegetable oil
squeeze of lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together in small bowl and set aside.

For the leeks:
olive oil

Sauté leeks in olive oil over medium-high heat until browning and crispy.  Season with salt and remove from heat; set aside.

For the grits:
half an onion
whole milk
grated mature cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

Shred half an onion on a box grater and sauté in some butter until translucent.  Add grits to pan with equal-ish parts water and milk, adding more liquid until grits are soft and the consistency you want them.  Add a pat of butter and some shredded cheddar cheese, stirring to melt and incorporate.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the egg:
I'm not going to tell you how to poach an egg.

Finally, assemble plate and serve with salted sliced tomatoes and some greek yogurt, if those kinds of things strike your fancy (as they do mine).


  1. My goodness, I want this for brunch tomorrow!! Looks fabulous!

  2. How beautiful & delicious looking! Eggs & grits is one of my favorite breakfasts...or, any time of day meal :) I will have to give this a try!

  3. Cures all that ails, I think! Thanks, Kate!

  4. Wow, what a perfect meal! I don't think I can think of anything I would rather have for breakfast. It sounds amazing.