Susan Feniger's light meal can be made without even turning on the oven.
Cheese Grits with Three Pepper Relish
- 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
- To make the relish, stir together the honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and sriracha in a bowl.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,
- 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.
- 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.