Grits are the perfect pillow for a homey, wintry dish
Chicago's chefs are experts in comfort food; the long, hard winter demands it. And the current comfort staple showing up on menus around town has a Southern slant: grits.
With a bit of butter, cream and salt stirred in, grits--corn that's been coarse-ground in a stone mill--can serve as base for anything savory, any time of the day.
Publican chef Brian Huston serves grits with Slagel Family Farm suckling pig ($21) at dinner, and with braised chicken, Meyer lemon and anchovies for brunch ($12). (His tip: Stir frequently during the entire cooking process.)
At Chaise Lounge, Georgia native Cary Taylor keeps it semi-classic: He stirs aged cheddar into baked grits and tops them with Old Bay-seasoned shrimp and smoked paprika. The result: A dish he says he'd gladly eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner (click here to download the recipe).
Anson Mills grits (from North Carolina) are common favorites that are available online--try the coarse grits if you like texture, or the finer-milled quick grits if you don't like to wait.
At North Pond, Bruce Sherman's divinely homey brunch dish of a soft-boiled egg, breaded chicken nuggets and roasted peppers sits on a base of grits from nearby Three Sisters Garden--get them in the refrigerated section of Chicago's Downtown Farmstand or at Green City Market on Saturdays.
Simmer, stir and stay warm.
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