Instant Pot Jalapeno Cheese Grits
Grits or polenta? They are the same, because they are both made from corn, but they are also different because of their textures and the types of corn used. I heard a segment about the grits vs. polenta debate on NPR and, while I found it riveting (and humorous) from a culinary standpoint, it’s probably not something you would give a hoot about if I hadn’t mentioned it. To summarize: grits from the American South are smoother and creamier (or pasty, if you’re not a grit person) and Italian polenta tends to be thicker and more toothsome, like a porridge, but, dare I say, “grittier” (pun intended). If you care to learn more about grits vs polenta, here is the NPR article, “True Grits: Getting in Touch With Your Inner Southerner”.
I’m not a big grits-for-breakfast-person but occasionally I like to dip my thick-sliced black pepper bacon in a vat of warm and spicy, cheesey and gooey breakfast grits. It’s a sit down at the table and have a conversation with your partner kind of breakfast, always on a Sunday. Grits must be savored. And if you are married to a Cajun, they must be spicy grits, hence the addition of jalapeños (or serranos). But I also enjoy grits under a thick short-rib ragu or rolled, chilled and sliced, then toasted with maybe a fried egg on top. Grits, if made properly, can sub for polenta (and v.v.) and can serve as a lovely canvas for a multitude of recipes.
Instant Pot Jalapeño Cheese Grits
2 cups water for thick grits, 3 cups water for thin, watery grits
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup grits, NOT instant, yellow or white is fine
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese or Pepper Jack
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sliced jalapeños (optional)
2 green onions, green parts, thinly sliced, for garnish
In your Instant Pot, select the sauté setting. Add water, butter and salt and bring to a simmer, about 3-5 minutes (cover with a glass lid if you have one, no worries if you don’t).
While whisking continuously, slowly pour the grits in to the pot and continue to whisk until the mixture begins to simmer, then press the cancel button. Set the pressure release valve to sealing and set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure.
When the Instant Pot alarms sounds, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes then move the pressure release valve to venting. Remove the lid and add the cheeses and jalapeños, and stir to combine and to remove any clumps
Spoon the grits into bowls and sprinkle with green onions (and additional cheese, optional).
Eat well and respect your body. Your life depends on it.