Thursday night…I wanted a little effort, yet flavorful dinner with a “comfort food” aspect…but not just a bowl of pasta and cheese sauce.
Grits…they’re comfort food…especially when you add a little cheese. They are so versatile…add an egg, some veg, whatever you want really.
Lately, I’ve been intrigued by spices from around the world. In my research, I happened upon a few different “Spanish” blends. I concocted my own version (Moorish Spice Blend, recipe below) with flavors influenced by the Moors, who made an indelible impact on the culture of southern Spain.
Saute some tomatoes, greens, onions…add some spices…and voila (!)…dinner.
I opted to sprinkle the Manchego cheese atop the dish, rather than incorporating it into the grits for a more pronounced flavor. The end result is my Spanish Grits.
Since I was only feeding two people, there were leftovers of everything. I think the leftover tomato mixture would make a great base for Shakshuka tomorrow!
- 4 c water
- 4 tsp Organic Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
- 1 ½ c quick grits
- 1 tbsp olive oil (Spanish, if you have it)
- 1 Spanish onion, small chop
- 1 red bell pepper, small chop
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
- ½ tsp Moorish Spice Blend (see below)
- 1 bunch red swiss chard, rough chop
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ¾ c grated Manchego cheese (preferably aged 6-12 months)
- In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil and whisk in bouillon paste. (Alternatively, you can use 4 cups high quality vegetable stock) Turn heat to low.
- Add grits, stir and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes, shaking pot occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pan.
- Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion, pepper and garlic. Saute until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and spice blend. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil. Add the chard and cook until wilted, 3-5 minutes.
- Add the vinegar and stir.
- Serve the vegetable mixture atop the grits and sprinkle with the Manchego.
Moorish Spice Blend:
- 1 ½ Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp coriander
- ½ Tbsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- Place all of the ingredients into a spice jar and shake to combine.