Susan Feniger - Cheese Grits with Three Pepper Relish

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021
Susan Feniger's light meal can be made without even turning on the oven.
Cheese Grits with Three Pepper Relish
Serves 4


  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon green sriracha sauce (page 157), or store-bought hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 Fresno chile or red jalapeno pepper, stemmed and finely chopped


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup stone-ground grits
  • ½ cup grated Monterey jack cheese


  1. To make the relish, stir together the honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and sriracha in a bowl.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan set over medium¬ high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until it is starting to color. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the garlic, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add the bell pepper, poblano chile, and Fresno chile. Cook for 5 minutes or until all of the peppers are cooked through.
  3. Add the honey mixture, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, transfer the relish to a container, and let it cool to room temperature. The relish can be made up to 2 days in advance, refrigerated in an airtight container, and served either hot or cold.
  4. To make the grits, in a small saucepan set over high heat, bring 2 cups cold water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter and salt. Sprinkle the grits into the water, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and is smooth. Cook for about 10 minutes,
  5. Stirring frequently to ensure that no lumps form. Add half of the cheese and continue stirring for a few minutes, until the cheese has melted and blended in.
  6. Serve the grits immediately, with a spoonful of the pepper relish and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese on each serving.

Note most grits can be cooked, as they are here, with a 4:1 ratio of water to grits. However, always check the cooking instructions on the package, because the grind and cooking time may vary by brand.