Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cookbook Countdown: Hominy Grits Soufflé

This month I'm back to my cookbook series project. I'll be cooking from Time-Life Foods of the World American Cooking: Southern Style. This book was a really enjoyable read and I've marked lots of recipes to try. The author, Eugene Walter, was a born Southerner, who seems to have alway been food-aware. He returned to the US from his home in Italy, to make a food tour of the Southern states.


Breakfast-for-dinner, that's a thing, right? Tonight we had Hominy Grits Soufflé (p13). I've never had this before, and loved it. The corny taste of the grits and their gritty texture against the smooth of the soufflé really appealed to me. On the other hand, my DH thought the dish was blah, and gave it some zip with Tabasco.

As soufflés go, this one was pretty easy to make. First you cook up some grits. When these are done, you beat in some butter (I think I omitted this), bacon fat, egg yolks, and some freshly ground black pepper. Then you whip the corresponding egg whites till they form stiff peaks, fold them into the grits mixture, and tump the mixture into a casserole. (A bit of Southern-speak there.) Top with some bread crumbs and bake at 350F for 45 minutes.  Coming out of the oven, it was a proper puffy soufflé, then promptly collapsed in the middle as they do.


The recipe said it served four to six. We ate the whole recipe with a salad as dinner for two. I expect it would make a nice breakfast dish for four. (Six would be a stretch.)


Stop by Cookbook Countdown to see what other folks are making from their November cookbook. Why don't you choose a cookbook from your shelf and join in?

5 comments:

  1. This looks perfect. Excited you are using another of this series. I found Latin American Cooking this wknd. ;)

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  2. This is the last but one of my project to read and cook through the entire series. Has been great fun. Will take me three years altogether.

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  3. Your souffle looks great, puffed beautifully! I have never tried one using grits before, an ingredient that is not easily obtainable here. Polenta and grits, are they the same? Have seen lots of recipes in my cookbooks using either polenta or grits.
    It's wonderful to see you are sharing another book from the TLFW series.

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  4. Grits are (is?) a very Southern ingredient; sometimes difficult to find in other areas of the US, I think. They're not exactly the same as polenta, although I expect they could be used interchangeably (coarser polenta) with a small flavor difference.

    Grits are made from hominy, which is corn kernels that have been treated with lye in a process called nixtamalization. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixtamalization) This loosens the skin of the kernel and changes it so that there's more food value (protein). Also, I think the chemical change is the reason that you can make a dough (and tortillas, tamales, etc.) from masa, which is very finely ground hominy. To my tongue the flavor changes also.

    When the Spanish took corn back to Europe, they did not take the nixtamalization process with them (what did those silly Indians know, anyhow?). As a result, areas where corn became an important crop (e.g. Lombardy in Italy) had an outbreak of pellegra (I think it is).

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  5. That looks amazing! Everything I've seen in that cookbook series looks so very difficult, I'm very impressed with your cooking!

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