Every now and then, even in summer time, we are in the mood for something creamy, something comforting. This creamy grits with Halloumi and tomatoes is perfect for that.
Creamy, healthy and summer can easily go together, without having the feeling that you stuff yourself.
Where does the creamy come from?
It comes from cooking the grits in milk and water, instead of just water and adding cheese and only a little bit of butter.
The ingredients that go into this grits.
- Stone-ground corn meal; it is healthier and it is more flavorful and has more texture. What more do you want, right?
- Fresh corn, fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil.
- Butter, milk and water
- Halloumi and Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
- Onion, I used sweet Vidalia onions
This Creamy Grits with Halloumi and Tomatoes is a one-pot dish that represents a hot summer. All fresh products in this recipe and you will taste the difference.
Steps in creating Creamy Grits with Halloumi and Tomatoes
1. Grill the Halloumi cheese.
Use a grilling pan and add the cubes Halloumi cheese. No need to add any oil or butter. This cheese grills beautifully and fast; don’t walk away from it. You can decide whether you like the cubes brown or blackened, without burning them. For this particular dish, I have a mix of brown and blackened; I like that combination on the creamy grits.
2. Cook the corn meal
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan, and saute the chopped onion until translucent or until brown and caramelized. Cooking the onions until caramelized will create a browner grits and adds more flavor. But if you prefer a nice creamy color, cook until translucent.
Most of the times, grits are cooked with water. For this recipe, use milk and water, because it gives a creamy result. At some point, you need to add the corn kernels; they need about 10-15 minutes to cook. At what moment to add them, depends on the grits you’re using. Check the cooking time of your grits. There are big differences depending on the type of grits you’re using. It can be from 20-40 minutes or sometimes even longer.
When preparing grits, make sure that your stir frequently, to prevent the grits from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
3. When the cooking is done, add the grated cheese and butter and mix until melted. Do you like thick grits, you’ll all done. Do you like your grits thinner? Now is the time to add water and/or milk to get your desired thickness. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
4. The last step is putting the dish together. Transfer the grits to a dish or onto 2 plates. Top the grits with Halloumi cheese, tomatoes, and basil.
Creamy Grits with Halloumi and Tomatoes
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 ear of corn kernels cut from husk
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup white cornmeal stone-ground
- 8 ounces Halloumi cheese cubed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon basil leaves torn
- In a heavy saucepan, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent or until brown and caramelized.
- Add the milk, water and a dash of salt and bring to a boil. Add corn meal and stir. Slowly cook the grits according to directions on the packaging. Stir every now and then during cooking, to prevent the grits from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Half way through the cooking time, add the corn kernels.
- While the corn meal is cooking, grill the cubes of Halloumi. Heat a grill pan and add the Halloumi. Grill on medium high heat, no oil required and cook until you have grill marks. Set aside
- When the grits is done, add grated cheese and butter and mix. Warm until cheese is melted. At this point you can decide the thickness of the grits. If you like it rather thick, no need to add anything, if you prefer it thinner, add water and/or milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer creamy grits onto plates or serving dish. Top the grits with Halloumi cheese, tomatoes, and basil.
- Cooking the onions until caramelized will create a browner grits and in my opinion more flavorful. If you prefer a nice creamy color, cook until translucent.
- Check the cooking time of your grits. There are big differences depending on the type of grits you’re using. It can be from 20-40 minutes or sometimes even longer.