Grits are always good when the weather turns cold, but why not use a seasonal veggie to really give it the flavor of fall? Add a little chipotle for some heat and you’ve got a cozy meal to curl up with by the fireside.
But of course, no grits are really complete without cheese to make them nice and creamy, so I added a little creamy Gouda. It’s so tasty you’ll be glad you can get sweet potatoes almost all year long.
Chipotle Sweet Potato Grits Recipe
Sweet potato baking method adapted from Empowered Sustenance
It’s impossible to use all the chipotles and adobo sauce in the can in most recipes. Just dump the leftovers into a small freezer bag, place the freezer bag into a sturdy plastic container and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. Defrost what you need to by placing it in a small plastic container and setting the container in a separate container of hot water for about half an hour.
Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes | Inactive time: 2 hours 30 minutes | Total time: 3 hours 40 minutes
- 1 small sweet potato
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 cup grits (not instant or quick-cooking)
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more for serving
- 4 teaspoons unsalted butter (or to taste)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 3/4 cup Gouda cheese
- 1 canned chipotle pepper, finely chopped
- Kosher salt
- 2 stalks green onions, chopped (optional)
- Wash the sweet potato thoroughly and pat it very dry with a clean kitchen towel. Poke it 3 or 4 times with a fork. Set a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom rack of a cold oven and place the sweet potato on the center rack above it. Set the oven to 425 degrees F. Leave them in the oven for 45 minutes. Turn the oven off without opening the door and let it sit for 1 hour. At the conclusion of the hour, remove the sweet potato from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes on the counter. When it’s cool enough to touch, the skin should have separated from the potato and be loose enough to pull off with your fingers. Any pieces that are stuck can be gently scraped away with a knife. Discard the skin and use a fork to smash the potato well in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan just over medium heat, bring 1-1/2 cups of vegetable stock and all the milk to a gentle simmer (about 10 minutes). If it starts to boil, reduce the heat a little, but keep it simmering.
- Slowly whisk the grits into the simmering liquid. Cook, whisking them almost constantly until they’re tender and have a thick, oatmeal-like consistency (about 20 minutes). The longer you cook them, the more they’ll bubble and pop, and consistent whisking will help keep the grits from ending up all over your stove. That said, reduce the heat if necessary and take it off the heat momentarily while checking it for doneness. If you check the doneness and they’re still too “al dente,” but it’s starting to get thick, add about 3 tablespoons of the remaining vegetable stock and whisk it in. Do this as many times as necessary. You may not use all of the remaining 1/2 cup of vegetable stock, and that’s OK.
- When the grits are tender and the consistency of thick oatmeal, remove the grits from the heat (reducing the heat to low or medium-low as you do). Switch to a spoon, and stir in the sweet potato mash, heavy cream, butter, garlic and a few grinds of pepper. Place the grits back on the lower heat and add 1/3 of the Gouda at a time, stirring constantly until completely melted and incorporated.
- Remove it from the heat and stir in the chipotle. Add salt to taste.
- Serve the sweet potato chipotle grits with a bit of heavy cream and garnished with green onions.